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Duplex

By

Larry Doyle

First Draft

December 14, 2000

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 2.

Ext. Prospect Park


— Park Slope, Brooklyn — Afternoon

It’s a blustery Sunday in October. Bundled-up children


GIGGLE and SQUEAL in a small enclosed playground. Across a
stone chess board, a old Jewish man CACKLES at a black teen
contemplating his next move. Dogs WRESTLE HAPPILY as their
owners flirt shamelessly.

We follow a woman with a baby carriage across the street,


finally settling on:

Ext. Building — 120 Prospect Park West — Continuous

A magnificent, if weathered, Victorian brownstone rowhouse.

Int. Apartment — Kitchen — Continuous

It’s smallish, but Good Lord: Viking stove, Subzero


refrigerator, cabinets everywhere, and…

REAL ESTATE AGENT


You’ve got a little butler’s pantry
here.

WOMAN
(tiny squeal)
A butler’s pantry!

MAN
Jeeves will be delighted.

The agent is BERNARD, 40ish, a big guy in a bigger sweater.


It’s not obvious that he’s gay.

The woman is NANCY, a bubbling fount of enthusiasms, whose


dream is apparently coming true right now.

She giddily clutches the arm of STUART, a man whose


energies are more of the inwardly directed, churning
variety. House hunting was not his idea, but he seems the
have accepted that much of his life from here on out won’t
be his idea.

Int. Apartment — Parlor — Continuous

One wall is filled with a Victorian hutch; on another is a


oak fireplace with antique mirror above the mantle. There
is ornate, carved wood everywhere. It’s real estate porn.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3.

Bernard is low-
key, letting the place sell itself.

BERNARD
(gesturing around vaguely)
Built-ins, built-ins, built-ins… all
the original moldings.

NANCY
(huskily, to Stuart)
Original moldings.

STUART
How old is this place anyway?

BERNARD
I’d have to check. 1881 sounds right.

STUART
(not a good thing)
Old.

BERNARD
It was carved up into separate units in
the early eighties.

STUART
(bad and worse things)
Carved up. In the eighties.

NANCY
(twirling around slowly)
This entire house is an antique!

Stuart shoots her a “remember what we discussed” look.


Nancy assumes her “buyer’s face.”

NANCY
Of course, this is the first place
we’ve looked at.

BERNARD
This probably isn’t for you, then. I’m
sure it’s going to be sold by Monday.

Nancy digs her nails very deeply into Stuart’s arm, only
half for theatrical effect.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 4.

B
ERNARD
(pointing down)
Peg and groove floors…
(with a wave)
…original pressed tin in the hearth of
the fireplaces.

NANCY
(buyer’s face vanishes)
Fireplace-es?

BERNARD
There’s also one in the bedroom.

NANCY
(cozying up to Stuart)
Fireplace in the bedroom.

She waggles her eyebrows at him lasciviously. He half-


smirks in return. She playfully slaps his shoulder.

Int. Apartment — Library — Continuous

Bernard has moved on.

BERNARD
Now, this used to be the library…

NANCY
Stuart’s a writer.

BERNARD
(doesn’t give a shit)
Really? What do you write?

STUART
Captions, mostly.

This was as Bernard expected.

NANCY
Stuart’s writing a novel. Which would
look great
(she indicates a wall of
bookcases with an outsized
spokesmodel flourish)
in these magnificent, built-in antique
bookcases!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5.

S
TUART
(to Bernard)
I’m really just tossing around ideas at
this point.

BERNARD
(ignoring that, he slides the
doors of the bookshelf)
Leaded glass doors.

NANCY
(still in spokesmodel mode)
Your books. Behind leaded glass.

STUART
(explaining again)
Mostly it’s just paperbacks. Trade
paperbacks.

BERNARD
(pointing up)
Curved canvas ceilings… the sellers
used this as a formal dining room.

NANCY
(dreamily)
A formal dining room.

STUART
(sighs)
Yeah. It’s too bad it’s out of our
price range.

NANCY
(gesturing)
It is at the top of our price range.

STUART
(gesturing above her)
Over the top.

NANCY
(clasping his hand lovingly)
At the tippy top.

Bernard surreptitiously checks his watch.

BERNARD
Would you like to see the bedroom?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 6.

N
ANCY
Of course.

She squeezes Stuart’s hand tightly.

Int. Apartment — Hallway — Continuous

Bernard leads them past a strange, ornate, spiral planter


and down a narrow, fairly dark hallway. The right wall of
the hallway ends three feet from the ceiling; the remainder
is filled out with glass bricks (which let in some light
from the foyer).

BERNARD
New construction, obviously.

STUART
From the eighties.

BERNARD
I’d knock out the glass bricks and
replace it with some period stained
glass.

NANCY
Oh, that would be pretty!

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

They walk into the light.

BERNARD
This is the bedroom.

Nancy actually GASPS. Even Stuart looks impressed. Seeing


their faces, Bernard steps up his sales pitch.

BERNARD
This was originally the front parlor.
Fireplace is tiger-eye maple; if you
look closely you’ll see that it’s
actually hundreds of hand-carved pieces
fitted perfectly together.

NANCY
(looking closely)
Wow. And they didn’t even have Mexicans
back then. Hispanics.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 7.

B
ERNARD
(annoying chuckle)
It was mostly Irish craftsmen, I
believe.

STUART
Irish craftsmen? Huh.

BERNARD
And over here you’ve got a little
alcove, if that’s the word, a round
outcropping facing the park.

NANCY
A nook!
(turning excitedly to Stuart)
A writer’s nook.

Stuart looks at the nook, and out the windows at the park.
He smiles genuinely for the first time.

STUART
I could see the writing the novel
there.

NANCY
Or it could be a nursery!

Stuart resumes his previous attitude.

Int. Apartment — Library — Moments Later

The three emerge from hallway.

BERNARD
Well, you’ve got my card if you want to
make an offer…

Stuart stops at the spiral planter, and looks at it


quizzically.

NANCY (O.C.)
Can you call us if anybody else makes
one?

BERNARD (O.C.)
I’m really not supposed to do that,
but…

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 8.

Over the
proceeding, we follow Stuart’s gaze up the planter. The
plants still have price tags on them. The planter spirals
up to the top, where there is a rather obvious circular
piece of wood that has been painted white to match the
ceiling.

STUART
Excuse me, is this a stairway?

Now that he mentions it, it very clearly is a spiral


staircase. Bernard doesn’t miss a beat.

BERNARD
Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you realized.
This is a duplex.

STUART
There’s another floor?

BERNARD
It’s on the listing sheet I gave you.

NANCY
(looking at listing sheet)
Two floors, for this price? You’d have
to mentally ill not to buy two floors
for that price!

Nancy, standing right next to Bernard, turns to Stuart with


an almost accusatory look. Bernard smiles patronizingly.

STUART
You two make a persuasive sales pitch,
but
(pointing up)
why’s it sealed off? Were there a slew
of murders up there? You have to tell
us if there were.

BERNARD
(chuckles)
Oh, no, it’s just, there’s a sweet old
lady who lives up there…

STUART
(there’s the rub)
A tenant.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 9.

B
ERNARD
Yes, and it is rent-controlled, so… but
she’s so sweet and so,
(annoying chuckle)
she’s got to be a hundred years old.

STUART
(good-natured sigh)
Well, that’s really too bad, because--

NANCY
Can we meet her?

BERNARD
(annoying chuckle)

Int. Building — Foyer — Moments Later

They climb the stairs to the second landing. Nancy is


caressing the ornate wood banister.

STUART
Rent-controlled means we can’t kick her
out, right?

NANCY
Stuart!

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Continuous

Bernard stops at a door a couple of feet past the end of


the stairs.

BERNARD
(that annoying chuckle again)
It’s a legitimate question. No, you
can’t evict her. She has to decide to
leave, or…

Bernard lets that hang out there.

BERNARD (CONT.)
(as if changing the subject)
Poor thing hasn’t been feeling well.

He KNOCKS, loudly.

BERNARD (CONT.)
She’s hard of hearing.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 10.

The three stand


there for a long beat.

BERNARD (CONT.)
It may take a little while for her to
get to the door.

They all smile at each other. After another longish beat,


we hear a lock being LABORIOUSLY OPENED on the other side.
There is another beat.

BERNARD (CONT.)
(mouthing, low volume)
Arthritis.

We hear a second lock being opened with a LONG GRINDING


CREAK. A moment later, the door opens slowly, JERKING to a
halt at the end of the security chain.

Nancy’s eyes widen in expectation; Stuart is curious. Their


expressions flash to shock, then polite suppression of
shock.

Inside the door

Peering behind the chain is MRS. CONNELLY. She’s a tiny,


frail lady, in a housecoat that may be as old as she is.
She stares unblinkingly; this, combined with her total lack
of make-up, makes her looks more than a little like a
corpse. After a moment, her face flashes in recognition;
she smiles sweetly and speaks with a slight Irish brogue.

MRS. CONNELLY
Bernard!

BERNARD
Good afternoon, Mrs. Connelly! How are
you feeling today?

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, don’t let me burden you with my
troubles…
(then)
I don’t feel good, Bernard.

On Bernard

As he speaks, we see Nancy peeking over his shoulder,


trying to see into the apartment.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 11.

B
ERNARD
I’m sorry to hear that, Mrs. Connelly.
I’ve brought by a young couple, who
might want to buy the apartment.

Bernard steps back to reveal Nancy on tip-toe; she drops


down quickly and interlocks arms with Stuart.

NANCY
Good afternoon, Mrs. Connelly! I’m
Nancy, and this is my husband, Stuart.

STUART
Hello.

MRS. CONNELLY
I liked the boy who lived downstairs
before. He brought me my medicines
sometimes.

NANCY
Well, if you ever need anything like
that, you just give us a call.

STUART
(smiling thinly)
If we buy the apartment.

NANCY
Do you mind if we look around?

Nancy’s POV

As Mrs. Connelly speaks, the camera moves off her face and
above her head. Nancy sees only a sliver of the apartment:
another magnificent fireplace, an alcove matching their
bedroom. The place is also filled with dozens of Irish
Catholic tchotchkes: matching ceramic bleeding-heart Jesus
and Mary above the mantel, a framed print of Norman
Rockwell’s portrait of JFK, with a black velvet shroud
draped around the top, etc.

MRS. CONNELLY (OVER PRECEDING)


Oh, it’s in a horrible state. Haven’t
had the energy to clean up in ages. I
should be ashamed of myself. I can only
imagine what it must smell like.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 12.

N
ANCY
(looking above Mrs.
Connelly’s head)
We’ll be in and out in no time.

MRS. CONNELLY
I’m sorry, dear. I’m not feeling up to
it.

The door CLOSES on Nancy’s a face. We hear the door slowly


being LOCKED again. Then, from behind the door:

MRS. CONNELLY (O.C.)


(long, pathetic coughing,
followed by tiny squeak of
sickly despair.)

Nancy and Stuart are thinking the same thing. Bernard puts
his hands on their shoulders.

BERNARD
Poor thing.

Bernard starts down the stairs; as they follow, Nancy grabs


Stuart’s hand and squeezes it.

BERNARD
Despite all that she’s going through, I
understand she’s never missed a rent
payment.

NANCY
(intrigued)
Rent?

BERNARD
As I said, it’s rent-controlled, so
it’s below market.

STUART
How much below market?

BERNARD
Considerably.

Int. Building — Foyer — Continuous

Bernard leads them toward the door.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 13.

N
ANCY
How many are rooms are there up there?

BERNARD
The drawing room, you saw, two
bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, and there’s a
room in the back which I think
originally was a children’s playroom.

NANCY
(barely contained excitement)
And that’s for the price we discussed.

Ext. Building — Stoop — Continuous

Bernard turns to face them on the steps.

BERNARD
That’s the asking price. But there may
be other bidders. Especially if you
wait.

Nancy looks across the street and sees the children playing
in the park.

NANCY
We’ll take it.

STUART
We’ll think about it.

Bernard CHUCKLES ANNOYINGLY.

Ext. Tompkin Square Park in Manhattan — Night

The couple scurry across a busy Manhattan street and into


the park. They cradle grande Starbucks cups.

NANCY
I know it’s a lot of money. But we make
enough.

STUART
Barely.

NANCY
We’re only going to make more money.
Then we’ll have extra to fix some…

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 14.

(
crinkles nose)
Oooh. Like those glass bricks…

STUART
You know, if we move to Brooklyn, we
won’t be able to walk to our favorite
Indian restaurant and pick up extra-
hot-no-foam-lattes on the way home…

They pass a scruffy gentleman in a long coat.

SCRUFFY GENTLEMAN
(not so sotto)
Smoke. Smoke.

STUART
And what if we want to buy drugs?

NANCY
This is our chance to grow up, Stuart.
To make a home. In a nice place.

STUART
I like our apartment.

NANCY
It’s a studio! Successful couples don’t
live in studio apartments. And you and
I are almost successful. We’re on the
cusp. We should start living like it.

STUART
I’ve never lived on the cusp.

She SMACKS him on the shoulder.

NANCY
If we live in a successful apartment,
we’ll grow into it. You are where you
live.

STUART
Brooklyn?

NANCY
Park Slope, Brooklyn.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 15.

S
TUART
Do you really want to leave Manhattan?
There’s an… energy here you can’t get
anywhere else.

CRAZY WOMAN
You’re killing the frogs!

The woman swings at Stuart, deliberately KNOCKING his extra


hot latte all over the front of his pants.

CRAZY WOMAN (O.C.)


Asshole!

Steam rises from Stuart’s crotch.

STUART
Oh, fuck me! Hot Hot!

Stuart pulls anxiously at the pants, trying to air them


out. He SIGHS, relieved, then:

STUART
Now cold.

He starts walking.

STUART
Really cold.

He walks briskly off-screen, leaving Nancy standing there.

Int. East Village Apartment — Night

It is one large room, with various “areas” designated by


the placement of mismatched pieces of furniture. The
“bedroom” sits behind a Chinese scrim.

The couple lies in bed. Stuart is on his back, staring at


the ceiling. Nancy peeks under the covers, tentatively.

NANCY
Does it still hurt?

STUART
Uh, yes.

NANCY
Maybe we should go to emergency room.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 16.

S
TUART
I’d rather not.

NANCY
Okay.
(a beat)
Can we talk about the house?

STUART
Sure.

NANCY
I want to buy it.

STUART
You know what? We’ve had a big day. Why
don’t we sleep on it?

Stuart turns the lamp off next to him. Streetlight through


the barred windows casts a classic prison shadow across the
couple. In the distance we hear a SIREN. Then closer:

WOMAN (O.C.)
(BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM)

Then right below their window:

MAN (O.C.)
I’m gonna fuck you up!

The two stare up to the ceiling. He realizes the jig is up.


She smiles and cuddles up to him.

Int. nyny Magazine — Art Department — Morning

We PAN across several, large framed nyny magazine covers: A


Central Park vista with the coverline, “ROOMS WITH THE
VIEW” and subhead, “Lovely to look at — and out of!” ;
Sarah Jessica Parker, apparently naked, inside a pile of
shoes with the coverline, “SHOE SLUTS” and subhead, “The
Imeldas of Manhattan”; Jerry Seinfeld in a nursery, rocking
a baby, with the coverline, “ROCK-A-BYE, STAR BABY!” and
subhead, “22 Celebrity Nurseries.”

We PULL OUT from this cover to reveal Nancy seated below


it, at a drafting table primarily occupied by a large
portrait monitor. Nancy is on the phone.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 17.

N
ANCY
(practically squealing)
Mom, we bought a house! It’s two
stories in this 1880 brownstone… Yes,
technically it is a condo, but it’s
huge, and it’s right on the park… No,
Prospect Park… It’s not regular
Brooklyn, though, Mom. It’s Park Slope.
A lot of up-and-coming people live
there… Well, no we can’t afford it on
Stuart’s salary, but we do have my
salary, too…
(the Mom sigh)
If I have a baby, I’ll freelance… I’ll
get a nanny…

Nancy puts her hand over the receiver to compose herself.

NANCY (CONT.)
It is too late to back out, Mom. We’re
closing tonight… See, this, right
here, is exactly why I didn’t tell you
earlier…

Something catches Nancy’s eye and she looks up. It’s MIKEY,
her boss. He’s tall and fit-looking in his tight-fitting,
short-sleeved black turtleneck; his head is completely
shaved bald and has been decorated with a henna tattoo that
simulates a 50’s style Big Boy hair-do. He looks annoyed.

NANCY
Gotta go, Mom.
(hangs up, smiles)
Yes, Mikey?

MIKEY
Chairs?

Nancy points to the monitor. On it is a layout of fancy


dining room chairs, each with a small inset of some New
York celebrity next to it. The headline is, “HOT SEATS.”

NANCY
Almost done.

MIKEY
Thank you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 18.

Nancy scrunches
her face at him as he walks away. After a beat, she clicks
something on her screen. The chair layout disappears and a
DVD-ROM program boots up.

On screen, a CGI house spins around; the walls fall away so


we can see how everything is arranged inside. The opening
title flies up: DECORATOR 3D. Nancy CLICKS again and the
screen changes to a digital rendition of their parlor.

Nancy holds a snapshot up next to the screen and smiles.

On screen, a FLAMBOYANT CARTOON MAN walks into the room.

FLAMBOYANT CARTOON MAN


Let’s decorate!

NANCY
Let’s.

Int. Balls Magazine — Hallway — Morning

Stuart walks with his friend and co-worker KEVIN past


several BALLS covers. Each features a heavily cleavaged
babe with a piece of sports equipment, and headlines like
“RACK ‘EM UP!” (she holds the pool rack over her crotch)
“SHE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!” (She got a big rifle, and wears
only a orange hunter’s vest.) Stuart (who now carries a
stainless steel, no spill coffee cup) is in full churn;
it’s clear Kevin takes life considerably less seriously.

STUART
The bank just gave us the money. I
wouldn’t trust me with that much money.
A cursory look at our financials would
have revealed we can’t afford this…

KEVIN
Why don’t you just ask Brownie for a
raise? Charlie says all you have to do
is go down on her.

STUART
Charlie’s gay.

KEVIN
So how hard can it be?

The two walk into:

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 19.

Int. Brownie’s
Office — Continuous

It’s a huge wood-paneled office, very boyish. There’s a


moose head on the wall with a cigar sticking out of its
mouth. Several fairly scared looking men sit in a semi-
circle of chairs facing a huge oak desk bearing BROWNIE,
the magazine’s British editrix. She’s somewhere north of
forty and plenty imperious. (She would be pretty but for an
enormous mole above her left eye) Seated next to her,
slightly behind her desk with her, is CHARLIE, a tiny
prematurely balding man.

Stuart and Kevin take the final two seats. There’s a long
beat of silence before Brownie chooses to speak.

BROWNIE
It’s 10:12, time for our ten o’ clock
story meeting. All right, boys, in my
face.

The “boys” stare at her, terrified. A DESPERATE MIDDLE-AGED


JUNIOR EDITOR sorts anxiously through a manila folder of
clippings from papers and other magazine.

DESPERATE MIDDLE-AGED JUNIOR EDITOR


Drew Barrymore’s got a new --

BROWNIE
(dismissive wave)
Five minutes ago.

The desperate middle-aged editor shrinks with a shudder.


Kevin turns to Stuart, entre nous.

KEVIN
Five minutes ago is a little five
minutes ago.

CHARLIE
Kevin, you had a pitch?

KEVIN
Yeah, I thought we could send me on a
Thai sex vacation.

CHARLIE
We already have Shawn Wayans doing
that.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 20.

K
EVIN
Sorry. I don’t pay attention.

STUART
Um, this is the fortieth anniversary of
Ernest Hemingway’s death and I thought—

Brownie’s look of perplexed boredom stops him cold.

STUART (CONT.)
I know we don’t do writers, but,
Hemingway, he’s, he was a big game
hunter, bullfighter, fishing. Real
(can hardly say it)
“Ball-sy” stuff. He beat up people a
lot.

CHARLIE
(finger to lips)
If I recall, Papa did blow his brains
out. Maybe we could tie it into that
“So you wanna blow your brains out”
photo spread we talked about.

BROWNIE
Do that. All right? What’s this month’s
sex tip?

The boys look even more terrified.

BROWNIE
(must-I-do-everything sigh)
Have we done finger up the ass?

CHARLIE
We did guy puts his finger up the
girl’s ass in May.

BROWNIE
All right, then. Let’s do girl’s finger
up the gentleman’s ass. Why don’t you
take that, Stewey?

STUART
That’s not really my wheelhouse…

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 21.

B
ROWNIE
You’re married, aren’t you? I assume
you have sex. It’s not like I’m asking
Kevvy there go out and find a woman
who’s willing to fuck him. Three
hundred words, first person, Monday
morning.

Stuart forces a shit-eating smile.

Ext. Seventh Avenue street — Park Slope — Evening

It’s early November, and cold. A cab pulls up in front of a


turn-of-the-century office building, and Nancy and Stuart
exit. Stuart gestures to the cab.

STUART
Eighteen dollars!

Nancy smiles at Stuart and grabs his hand, leading him up


the steps.

Int. Lawyer’s Office — A Little Later

Nancy, excited, and Stuart, anxious, sit on one side of a


conference table flanked by Bernard and an ESCROW AGENT.
The SELLERS sit across from them, beaming, with their
LAWYER. Nancy and Stuart are signing thousands of
documents, and Stuart is writing several checks.

STUART
Two-hundred and sixty-six dollars and
sixty seven cents? What’s this for?

ESCROW AGENT
That’s the interest for the last three
days of the month. Your mortgage starts
on the first.

STUART
They don’t miss a thing. Wait, there’s
only two more days before the first.

BERNARD
There’s today and the weekend.

STUART
Today’s almost over.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 22.

N
ANCY
(apologizing for Stuart)
We’ve never bought anything big before.

BERNARD
Okay, and nine-hundred for first
month’s maintenance…

STUART
Nine-hundred? I thought it was six.

SELLING WIFE
The building voted to raise it last
week. Just until heating oil prices go
down.

STUART
Meaning never. And why wasn’t I told—

NANCY
They told me, honey. I’m sorry, I
forgot to tell you, you know, with all
the other details.

STUART
Nine-hundred dollars.

SELLING WIFE
(jumping in)
We’ll pay the first month.

THEIR LAWYER
You don’t have to do that.

SELLING HUSBAND
(eager)
But we will if it’s going to be a
problem.

Nancy smiles at them, thinking “what a lovely gesture.”


Stuart stares at them, thinking, “what’s going on here?”

Obligatory Moving Montage

Ext. Building — 120 Prospect Park — Sunday Morning

A “NICE JEWISH BOYS” moving van is double-parked in the


street. Stuart, with coffee and bagel, “supervises” the
African-American movers.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 23.

Int. Apartment —
Parlor — Continuous

A mover places a large, heavy box on the floor. Nancy


examines it and calls him back. She shows him that the box
is labeled not just PARLOR but also “N.E. CORNER.” He picks
it up and starts for one corner; she redirects him to
another.

Ext. Building — Continuous

Stuart is reading the New York Times Book Review (It


features a caricature of Hemingway with the headline, “The
Hemingway-Plath Letters.”). Two movers pass him with a
large TV. After a moment, Stuart looks up from the Book
Review and sees the two “movers” and making off down the
sidewalk with the TV. Before he can do anything, two of the
real movers run after the would-be thieves.

End of Obligatory Moving Montage

Int. Building — Foyer — Late Afternoon

Stuart and Nancy stand outside the ornate double doors;


Nancy stops Stuart from opening the doors and pulls a small
object out of her pocket.

NANCY
I got you this.

STUART
Oh, it’s one of those, uh…

NANCY
(practiced)
Meh-ZOOZ-ah. “And thou shall write the
word of the Lord upon the door posts of
thine house, that your days may be
multiplied, and the days of your
children.” Look, it’s got a Velcro™
backing.

Nancy sticks the mezuzah next to the doorframe. She smiles


at Stuart suggestively.

NANCY
Now we have a threshold.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 24.

Stuart gets the


hint and puts out his arms. She GIGGLES and jumps into
them. He awkwardly fiddles with the door, and half-staggers
into

Int. Apartment — Library — Continuous

He walks two steps and lets her down. She surveys the
apartment, thoughtfully. There are boxes everywhere, of
course, but what really sticks out is the furniture: a
mixture of Ikea and kitschy fifties and sixties stuff.

NANCY
That’s what I thought. This furniture
has all got to go.

STUART
Yeah, well, it’s sort of shame we just
spent a thousand dollars moving it
here, then.

Nancy cuddles up to him.

NANCY
You can get me a couch for Christmas.

Before he can respond, she grabs his hand and pulls him
past the spiral staircase and into the interior hallway.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Moments Later

She leads him in. Golden afternoon light pours into the
room. Nancy’s eyes tear up. She grabs Stuart and pulls him
onto the bed on top of her. He’s interested. They kiss.

NANCY
(huskily)
Let’s make a baby.

He rolls off her with a small EEP. They both stare at the
ceiling for a LONG BEAT.

STUART
Is that a crack in the ceiling?

NANCY
We agreed we would have a baby in two
years. It could take me a year to get
pregnant.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 25.

S
TUART
We agreed we would start trying to have
a baby in two years.

NANCY
So you don’t want to have sex for the
next two years?

STUART
Not baby sex. Besides, we don’t have
room in this apartment for a baby.

NANCY
(points upward)
We will, though. I mean, God forbid.
(a beat)
How old do you think Mrs. Connelly is?
(another beat)
We should go say hello.

STUART
Yeah, okay.

Stuart rolls off the bed and heads for the hallway. Nancy
calls to him from the bed.

NANCY
Not dressed like that!

Int. Apartment — Parlor — About an Hour Later

Stuart, in slacks, pullover sweater and tie, looks as


uncomfortable as a twelve-year-old going to visit his
grandmother. Nancy, in a conservative sweater set and wool
skirt, licks her fingers and smoothes down Stuart hair.

NANCY
We should bring something.

STUART
We’re the ones moving in.

NANCY
To be nice.

Stuart turns to the mantle, which has several gift bottles


of wine on it. He considers and decides.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 26.

S
TUART
Merlot.

He reaches for a bottle. Nancy reaches past him and takes a


different one.

NANCY
This one’s got a pretty ribbon.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Moments Later

Nancy KNOCKS LOUDLY on the Mrs. Connelly’s door. Stuart


examines the bottle of wine.

STUART
This is expensive.

After a couple of seconds, Nancy knocks EVEN MORE LOUDLY.

STUART
This is a really nice bottle of wine.
Maybe I should—

Stuart turns to go downstairs; Nancy grabs him. We hear the


locks all OPEN, as laboriously as before. The door CREAKS
open to the end of the chain, and we again see Mrs.
Connelly’s suspicious eye. Only now it’s surrounded by
bright blue eye shadow.

NANCY
(a little loudly)
Mrs. Connelly? It’s Nancy and Stuart,
we just moved downstairs?

MRS. CONNELLY’S EYE (MOUTH O.C.)


Ohhhh. Oh!

She SLAMS the door. We hear the chain being UNHOOKED. She
opens the door again. Mrs. Connelly, wearing make-up
usually reserved for the wake, stands there in a red satin
cheongsam (the mandarin slip dress that was briefly popular
40 years ago) covered with a tiny, pink sweater jacket.

MRS. CONNELLY
Come in! Come in!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 27.

Mrs. Connelly
patters in. Nancy follows eagerly, and quickly scans the
apartment. The magnificent parlor is somewhat overwhelmed
by old lady clutter: praying hands sculpture close to the
door; assorted Lladro figurines, mostly from the angel
series. The parlor is dominated by a huge brass-plated
birdcage containing a giant macaw. Abutting it is a ratty
easy chair next to an even rattier couch, all oriented
toward an old TV (with knobs) on a brass-plated rolling
cart.

NANCY
You have a lovely apartment, Mrs.
Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, please call me Josie.

STUART
(Offering wine)
We got you this, Josie. Ah.
Housewarming.

MRS. CONNELLY
(accepting bottle)
Oh, I don’t drink, dear. It’s a sin.

STUART
(that’s an interesting fact)
Irish Catholics don’t drink.

Nancy elbows him.

MRS. CONNELLY
Sit down, sit down.

Mrs. Connelly gently pushes Nancy and Stuart over to the


sitting area. She directs Stuart to the easy chair.

MRS. CONNELLY
You sit in my chair.

Stuart looks down in the seat of the chair. It has a very


distinct, slightly greasy, impression in it.

MRS. CONNELLY
(re: wine)
Let me open this for you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 28.

Mrs. Connelly
patters away. We notice for the first time that the back of
her dress is completely worn away, revealing saggy gray old
lady underpants.

Mrs. Connelly walks to a kitchenette (created circa 1980)


and picks up a bartender’s corkscrew off the counter. With
one swift motion, she UNCORKS the bottle. She takes a small
glass off a shelf and returns. She hands Stuart the glass,
which we now see is an old Peter Potamous jelly jar, and
pours him approximately an inch of wine. She puts the
bottle down without offering any to Nancy.

MRS. CONNELLY
(remembering something)
Oh.

She patters away, and starts RUMMAGING around the kitchen.


Nancy, on the couch, moves to the far edge and tries to
peek down the hallway. Stuart turns toward the macaw.

It’s a pretty sad specimen: hunched over, lots of feathers


missing. Suddenly it LUNGES toward camera. It’s beak comes
through the bars on the cage, missing Stuart’s eyeball by a
32nd of an inch. Stuart lurches back, and settle himself
with a swallow of wine. He eases back into the chair. He
feels something funny. He lifts up his arm adjacent to the
cage and sees the armrest is speckled with white and green
clumps.

MRS. CONNELLY
Here we go.

Mrs. Connelly places a black lacquer tray on the brass-


plated glass coffee table. The tray features a Polynesian
dancer, whose toplessness has been strategically covered by
a plastic bowl full of Bugles™. Next to the corn snacks is
a container of French Onion Dip, half empty with numerous
Bugle strafings through it.

STUART
Wow, Bugles™. I thought they stopped
making those.

Mrs. Connelly holds a Bugle™ up to the cage. The bird


gently takes it by the tip, and rears its head back.

BIRD
(BUGLE-LIKE TOOTLE)

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 29.

S
TUART
That’s a great parrot you have there.

MRS. CONNELLY
He’s a macaw, dear. I’ve had Mr. Fawkes
for sixty years now. I couldn’t live
without him.

Nancy, whose eye has been wandering around the apartment,


snaps to attention.

NANCY
How are you feeling, Josie?

MRS. CONNELLY
Why do you ask, dear?

NANCY
Because the last time we were here, you
were quite ill.

MRS. CONNELLY
(dismissive laugh)
Oh, I had a bit of a cold. I’m in fine
fettle now, please God. But tell me all
about yourselves. Stuart, where do you
work?

STUART
For now, I’m an editor at a men’s
magazine…

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, Mr. Connelly hid his magazines
everywhere.
(To Nancy)
Behind the toilet tank! He was a dirty
man.

NANCY
Stuart’s hoping to be novelist. He’s
going to be a novelist.

MRS. CONNELLY
I never thought of that as a job, but I
suppose it is, isn’t it?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 30.

(
noticing Stuart’s glass is
almost empty)
Oh, let me fill that for you.
(mostly to Nancy)
Mr. Connelly had the taste, too. The
drink took him from me in 1952. We had
been married thirty years.

Nancy and Stuart are doing the math in their heads. Mrs.
Connelly sits down on the couch, between Stuart and Nancy.

NANCY
You must have seen such amazing things,
I mean going all the way back to…

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, I’ve mostly been sitting in my
apartment, dear.

NANCY
So what brought you here, to the
states, was it the famine?

MRS. CONNELLY
(chuckles good-naturedly)
I’m not that old. That was a hundred
and fifty years ago, dear.

STUART
(lamely jocular)
A whole lot of potatoes under the
bridge since then.

MRS. CONNELLY
More than a million people died. My
grandfather among them.

NANCY
Oh, I’m sorry.

MRS. CONNELLY
I know, dear.

Stuart reaches for his wine glass. We hear a WATERY PLOP.


Stuart looks over and sees Mr. Fawkes’ tail feathers
hanging over his glass. He pulls his hand away uneasily.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 31.

M
RS. CONNELLY
In a way he was lucky. He wasn’t around
for the Great Consumption...

Stuart glances at a clock built into a Pietà reproduction.


It reads 7:15 p.m. The face MATCH DISSOLVES to 8:37.

MRS. CONNELLY (O.C.)


We lost Uncle Dennis and little Nula in
the influenza outbreak of 1918...

The clockface MATCH DISSOLVES to 10:24.

Mrs. Connelly sits between a stupefied Stuart and Nancy.

MRS. CONNELLY
I did have one sister, Katie. But she
died horribly.

NANCY
I am so sorry.

MRS. CONNELLY
Ah, well, it’s the Irish way.
(noticing)
Look, I’ve kept you up. I’m sorry; I
didn’t notice the time. Let me show you
out.

Mrs. Connelly stands to lead them out. As Stuart rises, Mr.


Fawke’s dives at him, tearing a hunk out of his sweater.

NANCY
You know, Josie, I would love a tour of
your apartment, if it’s not too much
trouble.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, it’s much too late for that.

She opens the door for them. Stuart exits quickly. Nancy
lingers.

NANCY
If you need anything, anything at all,
don’t hesitate to call.

MRS. CONNELLY
Thank you, dear. So kind of you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 32.

She says this as


she closes the door in Nancy’s face.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Night

Nancy sits in bed with a pad and pencil. Stuart, in t-shirt


and underpants, walks up to his side of the bed reading a
dictionary.

STUART
A macaw is a parrot.

Stuart SLAPS the book closed with satisfaction and gets


into bed. Nancy is figuring something on her pad.

NANCY
She’s between 95 and 105 years old.
(looks around, gets idea)
Ooo. Turn out your light!

A little puzzled, Stuart turns out his light. So does


Nancy. Their faces are bathed in a flickering glow.

Their POV

A tiny blaze burns in the fireplace. Soft street light


filters in; the quiet, black outline of Prospect Park
beyond makes it feel like the country. The room seems even
more majestic than in broad daylight.

NANCY
(hushed squeal)
We’re millionaires!

Stuart smiles, and kisses Nancy. They lie down, kissing.

Close on Stuart and Nancy

As they kiss, Stuart opens his eyes and pulls away


slightly.

NANCY
(eyes closed, a bit annoyed)
Diaphragm’s in.

STUART
(awkward)
No, ah, but that’s good. But. Can I ask
you a favor? It’s for work.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 33.

Stuart bends over


and WHISPERS something in Nancy’s ear.

NANCY
(giggles)
Well, if it’s for work…

They resume kissing. SUDDENLY and QUITE LOUDLY, we hear:

Ambient Music: “Hawaii 5-0” theme.

Startled, the two roll onto their backs.

STUART
She is deaf.

Dissolve to later

Nancy and Stuart roll around, placing pillows on their


heads, etc., trying to sleep.

VERY LOUD TV MAN (O.C.)


Simply put the beef...

VERY LOUD TV WOMAN (O.C.)


Or chicken?

VERY LOUD TV MAN (O.C.)


Or chicken. Or fish. Into the chamber,
snap the SureSeal™, and pull back the
Infuser™.

VERY LOUD TV WOMAN (O.C.)


And then we wait, what, an hour?

VERY LOUD TV MAN (O.C.)


It’s done.

VERY LOUD TV WOMAN (O.C.)


It’s done?!

VERY LOUD TV MAN (O.C.)


It’s marinated! Throw it on the grill!

Ambient SFX: Huge audience applause.

Nancy and Stuart stare at the ceiling.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 34.

Int. Building —
Second Floor Landing — Even Later

Stuart BANGS on the door. From inside we hear:

Ambient Music: “Underdog” theme.

STUART
(between bangs)
Mrs. Connelly? Josie?!

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Early Morning

Sunlight comes through the window. Nancy and Stuart lie


face up, bleary eyed.

Ambient Music: The Theme from “The Bill Cosby Show.” (The
one in which he played gym teacher Chet Kincaid.)

The music stops abruptly. Nancy and Stuart close their


eyes. A beat.

Sfx: Alarm clock buzz

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Morning

A bedraggled Nancy stands there. The last LOCK disengages.


The door CREAKS open. Mrs. Connelly (dressed as she was the
night before) peers out across the chain.

MRS. CONNELLY
Please forgive me, dear. I must look
awful. You woke me.

NANCY
I apologize for that, but Josie—

Mrs. Connelly furrows her brow as if insulted.

NANCY
Mrs. Connelly, we had some trouble
sleeping last night; your TV was on,
uh, quite loud.

MRS. CONNELLY
(merrily)
Oh, was it? I’m stone deaf! Getting old
is terrible thing.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 35.

N
ANCY
Well, if you could…

MRS. CONNELLY
It’s just that it gets so quiet at
night, and I get frightened. The
television helps me fall asleep.

NANCY
(a little impatient, but
polite)
Could you turn the TV down, Mrs.
Connelly?

MRS. CONNELLY
(put out)
Yes, Mrs. Rosenstein.

NANCY
Rosenbaum is my husband’s name. I’m
Nancy Payne.

MRS. CONNELLY
Payne. That’s an Irish name, isn’t it?

NANCY
I don’t know. It could be.

MRS. CONNELLY
Wives not taking their husband’s names.
It’s a new world, isn’t it? Now the
children, will they be Greenbaums or
Paynes?

NANCY
(still trying to be nice)
That’s a discussion we haven’t had.
Well, I have to go, Mrs. Connelly; I’m
going to be late to work.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, dear, before you go, could you take
a look at my shower. The pipes in there
are making a bangety-bang sound.

NANCY
Well, it’s an old boiler; they make
sounds sometimes. It’s nothing.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 36.

M
RS. CONNELLY
It’s a new sound. It goes bangety-bang
(one count)
Bang-bang.

NANCY
I do have to go. But I tell you what:
right after work, Stuart and I will
take a look at your shower and see what
we can do.

MRS. CONNELLY
That would be wonderful.

NANCY
Have a good day, Mrs. Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
(sweetly)
And you have a nice time at work, Nancy
Payne.

She SLAMS the door, and starts RELOCKING.

Int. Balls Magazine — Stuart’s Cubicle — Late Morning

An exhausted Stuart sits in his cubicle, thumbing through


the index of “The Joy of Gay Sex.”

STUART
Finger… finger… ass comma finger…

Charlie leans against the wall of the cubicle.

CHARLIE
How’s our little sex tipster?

STUART
Can I help you, Charlie?

CHARLIE
No, but I can help you. I had some time
of my hands this weekend,
(hands Stuart a Zip disc)
so I knocked out three hundred words on
a topic near and dear to your
sphincter. Feel free to put your own
name it.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 37.

Charlie exits.
Kevin pops up on the other side the cubicle as Stuart
inserts the Zip drive..

KEVIN
That Charlie is such a nice guy.

Stuart opens the document and starts to read.

STUART
Ew.

Close on computer monitor

We “walk” through a remarkably well-rendered CGI version of


Nancy and Stuart’s apartment.

FEMALE VOICE (O.C.)


Jesus. How long did it take you to
input all this?

Int. nyny Magazine — Art Department

Nancy sits at her terminal, as SYN, also in her late 20s


but much more downtown, watches over her shoulder.

NANCY
Just a few hours. Oh, Syn, you have to
see this place. The fireplaces are ten
times more intricate than this...

SYN
This is a pretty amazing program.

NANCY
It better be for $400. Don’t tell
Stuart.

SYN
(shocked, simply shocked)
Stuart’s worried about money?

NANCY
He doesn’t understand the whole
investing in success concept. Ooh,
watch this.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 38.

On Screen

The cursor clicks on a couch (which looks like the one in


the real apartment), and drags it to tiny Dumpster in the
corner.

NANCY (O.C.)
Bye-bye, Ikea!

Back to scene

Syn raps Nancy on the back; she immediately clicks on the


screen so a large magazine spread pops up. Mikey walks up
wearing a Mets cap that has been altered so that it reads,
“The Met.”

NANCY
(all business)
This looks great Syn, but maybe vary
the point sizes on the quotes, and, oh,
hello, Mikey.

MIKEY
Ladies. Shall we close conversation
pieces before you go home tonight?

SYN
No worries.

As Mikey walks away, we see he is wearing leather pants


that lace up the back.

SYD
(dubious)
He has a wife and kids.

NANCY
Three. And they live in White Plains.
(seeing something)
Ooh.

On Screen

Nancy COPIES one of the objects from the conversation


pieces spread (The headline reads “HELLO!”) and PASTES it
into the her CGI parlor. The FLAMBOYANT CARTOON MAN pops
onto screen.

FLAMBOYANT CARTOON MAN


Feng shui alert!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 39.

Back to scene

NANCY
Oh, shut up.

Ext. Park Slope F Stop — Early Evening

It’s sleeting. Several commuters with umbrellas exit,


followed by Stuart, holding a Balls magazine over his head.

Ext. 120 Prospect Park West — A Minute Later

Stuart runs up the steps.

Int. Building — Foyer — Continuous

Stuart enters, soaking. He approaches his door, then


remembers the Wiz bag he is holding. He turns around.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — A Minute Later

Stuart stands impatiently, as the door OPENS to the end of


the chain. Stuart grins idiotically. The door SLAMS, and
opens again a moment later.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Parlor — Continuous

Mrs. Connelly is still wearing the Oriental dress. Stuart


talks to her, still standing in the outside hall.

STUART
(reaching into bag)
Hi, evening, Mrs. Connelly. I bought
you these headphones, for your TV.
(glances at old TV, unsure)
I’m sure it has an ear jack, somewhere…

MRS. CONNELLY
That is so sweet, dear, but I could
never wear those. I don’t pay thirty
dollars a week for this hairdo just to
muss it up.

STUART
You get your hair done every week?

Nancy, also soaking, appears behind Stuart.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 40.

N
ANCY
(overly solicitous)
Good evening, Mrs. Connelly!

We hear VERY LOUD BANGING. Stuart and Nancy are startled.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, let me introduce you to Mr.
Dzerzhinksy.

Mrs. Connelly patters off and the couple follows her down
the hall. As they pass an open door.

NANCY
(hushed, to Stuart)
Look at that bedroom.

Her thrill is short-lived, as Mrs. Connelly leads them to:

Int. Mrs. Connelly's Apartment — Bathroom — Continuous

MR. DZERZHINSKY, a very large Russian man, stands in the


tub, using a huge pipe wrench to fasten some new copper
piping in the shower. The entire wall has been torn open.

MRS. CONNELLY

This is Mr. Dzerzhinksy, the plumber.

MR. DZERZHINKSY
Hey.

Nancy points to a pile of broken ceramic on the ground.

NANCY
Those were the original tiles.

MR. DZERZHINKSY
(climbing out of tub)
Yeah, you’re gonna need a tile guy.

Mr. Dzerzhinksy stares down at Stuart.

MR. DZERZHINKSY
You the landlord?

STUART
Yes, but I didn’t order any work.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 41.

Mr. Dzerzhinksy
hands a bill to Stuart anyway, and goes about packing up
his tools.

NANCY
Mrs. Connelly, I told you I would take
a look at this when I got home.

MRS. CONNELLY
I know, dear, but it started going
bang-bang-bang-bang-BANG and I thought
it was going to explode.

MR. DZERZHINKSY
(shrugs)
It coulda.

STUART
(re: bill)
You were here for four hours?

MR. DZERZHINKSY
Pretty much.

STUART
I’m not going pay for something I
didn’t auth—

Mr. Dzerzhinksy belly-bumps Stuart.

MR. DZERZHINKSY
Look, my friend, I already did the
work. Or I can rip the pipes outta the
wall.

STUART
(giving up)
No, no.

Mr. Dzerzhinksy exits. Stuart and Nancy walk with Mrs.


Connelly back toward the door.

NANCY
This is my card at work, Mrs. Connelly.
In the future, could you please call me
before, you know…
(remembering)
Oh, and I got you a present.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 42.

Nancy pulls a
device out of a Lechner’s bag. Mrs. Connelly looks at it
dubiously.

NANCY
It’s one of those clap-on, clap-off
things. We can attach it to your TV and
then, when you’re falling asleep, you
can clap to turn off the TV.

MRS. CONNELLY
It sounds so complicated.

NANCY
No, all you have to do is clap. We just
plug it into the wall.

MRS. CONNELLY
It might start a fire. Thank you
anyway. Oh, Stuart, before I forget,
it’s the first of the month.

She patters over to a counter and retrieves a small stack


of money and coins. She counts it out slowly into Stuart’s
palm.

MRS. CONNELLY
Twenty… forty… fifty… fifty-five…
sixty… sixty-five… seventy… Seventy-
five… seventy-six, seventy-seven,
seventy-eight, seventy-nine, eighty-
one, eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-
four, eighty-five, eighty-six, eighty-
seven, eighty-eight, eight-eight
twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five,
eighty-nine dollars and twenty-five,
fifty cents.

NANCY
Thank you, Mrs. Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
Would you like to count it?

STUART
No, I trust you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 43.

Int. Apartment —
Bedroom — Night

Nancy and Stuart stare at the ceiling. From above we hear


SOME KIND OF JAPANESE GAME SHOW.

Ext. Midtown Manhattan — Outside a Starbucks — Morning

A dead-tired Stuart exits the Starbucks, slurping coffee


from his stainless steel cup as he dodges oncoming sidewalk
traffic. He continues half way down the block, realizes his
cup is empty, and turns back for more.

Int. nyny Magazine — Nancy’s Workstation — Afternoon

Nancy sits at her computer, but appears to be fast asleep.


Mikey enters (wearing a tiny fez), scowls and puts his face
within two inches of Nancy’s. He BLOWS in her face. Her
eyes flutter open. Startled, she falls off her chair (and
out of frame). She pops back up a moment later and hops
onto her stool, smiling gamely at Mikey.

NANCY
What can I do for you, Mikey?

Ext. Prospect Park — Morning

It’s very cold, but bright. Heavily bundled couples walk


strollers and dogs toward the park.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

Nancy and Stuart lay on the bed, on top of the sheets,


still in their work clothes from the day before. Nancy
awakes, and shakes Stuart.

NANCY
Wake-up, c’mon, we’re going shopping
today.

STUART
No, Saturday. Sleeping.

Stuart rolls over onto his face. Nancy sits up in bed,


grabs Stuart’s arm and starts to get up, dragging him.

NANCY
Shopping.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 44.

She doesn’t have


the energy. She falls back on the bed, across Stuart. A
moment of peace.

We hear LOUD CACKLING and BANGING. Nancy opens her eyes.

Int. Building — Foyer — A Few Moments Later

Nancy peeks out her door. Three OLD BIDDIES lug cases for a
tuba, trombone and French horn up the stairs.

FIRST OLD BIDDY


It’s a cold one.

SECOND OLD BIDDY


Cold for November.

THIRD OLD BIDDY


Winter’s coming.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — A Moment After That

Nancy trudges back in and collapses on the bed. From above,


we hear INDISTINCT CACKLES OF GREETING and CHAIRS
SCOOTCHING. Then BRASS INSTRUMENTS warming up. Then
agonizing silence. Then a “SONG” starts.

STUART
ohgod.

NANCY
What song is that?

STUART
“On the Street Where You Live?”

NANCY
It sounds like it might be “Every
Breath you Take.”

Stuart sits up.

STUART
Let’s go shopping.

Ext. Manhattan — 25th Street Flea Market — Day

Nancy haggles with an ANTIQUES MERCHANT.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 45.

N
ANCY
I’m sorry, but I can’t go over one-
sixty.

ANTIQUES MERCHANT
Then I’m sorry, too.

NANCY
Okay then.

Nancy start to walk away, but then turns back.

NANCY
(laughing)
You win that one.

Nancy writes a check. Stewart walks up excitedly, holding a


manual typewriter.

STUART
A Remington Royal! Twenty dollars.

NANCY
What were they asking?

STUART
Twenty dollars.

Nancy shakes her head in disappointment.

Ext. The Strand Bookstore — Afternoon

Int. The Strand — Information Desk — Continuous

Stuart addresses a typically laid-back STRAND WORKER.

STUART
Where do you keep the good books?

STRAND WORKER
We don’t make those kind of judgments.

STUART
I mean, you know, the good-looking
books.

STRAND WORKER
Good looking books?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 46.

S
TUART
Good books, but also, nice-looking.

STRAND WORKER
Third floor. We sell them by the yard.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Late Afternoon

Stuart lovingly places his Remington Royal on a small stand


in the alcove. He sits down, rolls in a piece of paper,
looks out the window for inspiration, and HITS a key. It
sticks. He unsticks it, and HITS another key. It sticks. He
notices something out the window.

His POV

A cab has pulled up in front of the building. The trunk,


overloaded with antiques, is tied down with rope. Nancy
opens the passenger door, revealing the inside is also
crammed with bags and furniture. Even the cabbie’s front
passenger seat is crammed with stuff. Nancy sees Stuart in
the window, and waves at him, smiling giddily.

Ext. Building — Night

There are Christmas lights and a Menorah in the window.

MUSIC: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Dean Martin

Int. Apartment — Parlor — Continuous

A mini-stereo is on the mantle, with a CD cover leaning


against it which reads, “A Pottery Barn Holidays.”

Nancy is happily rearranging several small pieces of


furniture around the parlor. We see that she has shoved
their old couch against the wall and stacked much of their
old crap on top of it.

Int. Apartment — Library — Continuous

Stuart stands on a chair, placing nice leather-bound books


into his leaded glass bookcases. He bears a look of self-
satisfaction. Nancy enters, carrying a small end table. She
puts it down, walks up behind Stuart and hugs him around
the waist.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 47.

N
ANCY
(romantic)
We’re making a home.

STUART
It’s kind of hot in here, isn’t it?

NANCY
(releasing him)
It’s steam heat. We’re on the first
floor so we get the full blast. It’ll
go off in a couple hours.

STUART
Welcome to “This Old, Old House.”

NANCY
You were the one who voted against a
new heater.

STUART
Well, ten-thousand dollars.

Nancy picks up a book off Stuart’s unshelved pile.

NANCY
“Ivanhoe”?

STUART
It’s a good book. Robert Louis
Stevenson.

NANCY
It says it’s by Walter Scott.

STUART
There were two versions.

NANCY
(picking up another book)
“Geographical Survey of N.E. New York
State, 1945.”

STUART
It’s research. For the novel.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 48.

N
ANCY
I thought the novel was about a young
writer forced to work at an awful men’s
magazine.

STUART
I’m hoping to write more than one
novel.

NANCY
I didn’t know you spoke German.

STUART
What?

NANCY
(re: third book)
This one’s in German.

Stuart steps down from the chair.

STUART
(defensive)
Books aren’t completely for reading.
It’s not like all the furniture you’re
buying is completely practical.

NANCY
It all serves a purpose.

Stuart points to two end tables sitting side by side.

STUART
So that end table, it serves as an end
table to that end table.

NANCY
Well, first of all, that’s not an end
table, it’s an antique telephone stand,
and second of all, it’s not going
there, it’s going upstairs in the
hallway.

STUART
We don’t live upstairs.

NANCY
But we will. Eventually.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 49.

S
TUART
How about that? What purpose does that
serve?

Stuart points to what looks like a two-foot tall wooden


pyramid.

NANCY
That serves a design purpose.

STUART
What is it?

NANCY
Obviously, it’s a pyramid.

Stuart is about to go off on that, but then notices a small


antique rocking crib.

STUART
What’s this?

NANCY
It’s a conversation piece.

STUART
And what conversation would that be?
(looks around)
How much shit did you buy anyway?

NANCY
It won’t look so crowded once we get
the old stuff out.

Before Stuart can respond, there is knock on the door.


Nancy is quick to answer it. It’s Mrs. Connelly, wearing
her Church dress.

MRS. CONNELLY
I hate to bother you two on a Sunday
evening like this, but I’m cold.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Doorway — A Minute Later

Mrs. Connelly leads the two in. Stuart holds his hand out,
incredulous.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 50.

N
ANCY
It doesn’t seem that cold in here, Mrs.
Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
I’m cold. Mr. Fawkes is cold.

She gestures to Mr. Fawkes, who just sits there.

STUART
Well, that’s because Mr. Fawkes is
supposed to be in a South American rain
forest, not New York City in November.

Nancy shoots Stuart a look, and puts her hand on Mrs.


Connelly’s shoulder, gently. She leads her to her chair.

NANCY
The heat just started up, Mrs.
Connelly. I think if you just wait,
it’ll be fine in just a few minutes. If
you want, I have a sweater you could
borrow. Or a caftan.

MRS. CONNELLY
No, that’s all right, dear. I
understand.

Int. Apartment — Moments Later

As they re-enter:

STUART
It was at least seventy degrees up
there.

NANCY
Oh, she’s just lonely.

STUART
I don’t think her eight-nine-fifty
covers paid companionship.
(surveys apartment,
worriedly)
Nancy, I don’t want to be a spoilsport,
but we need to make a budget for all
this furniture you’re buying.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 51.

N
ANCY
Let’s not forget your “books.”

STUART
My books only cost $40 a yard.

Nancy, trying to make up, hugs Stuart.

NANCY
Why don’t we just think of them as
early Christmas presents? And Hanukkah!

STUART
You know, for Hanukkah, I usually got
underpants, not —

He lightly KICKS the wooden pyramid.

NANCY
Don’t kick that! It cost — enough that
you shouldn’t be kicking it.

There is a KNOCK on the door.

Int. Building — Stuart and Nancy’s door — Continuous

The door opens, revealing an exasperated Stuart.

STUART
Yes, Mrs. Connelly?

His POV

He is staring at two police uniforms. He adjusts his gaze


upwards into the large, sober faces of OFFICER DAN and
OFFICER SANDRA.

OFFICER SANDRA
We have the report of a heat emergency.

STUART
(annoyed)
She called you?

OFFICER DAN
Come with us upstairs, please?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 52.

Int. Building —
Second Floor Landing — Moments Later

Officer Dan KNOCKS. Stuart rolls his eyes.

STUART
You’ll see. She’s old, and, you know,
likes to complain.

We hear the recognizable sound of WINDOWS SLIDING SHUT. The


door opens (without the usual rigmarole). Mrs. Connelly
stands there, wrapped in several shawls, tiny and weak.

MRS. CONNELLY
I’m terribly cold.

The officers walk into the apartment. We can see their


breath. It’s like “The Exorcist.”

OFFICER DAN
Good Christ.

MR. FAWKES
So cold. So cold.

Ext. Building — Street — A Few Minutes Later

The squad car is parked in front, lights flashing. Stuart


and Nancy stands on the sidewalk, shivering without coats.
Officer Dan is writing a citation.

OFFICER DAN
That poor, dear sweet woman.

STUART
Look, I think it’s pretty obvious she
opened all the windows to —

OFFICER DAN
(pointing aggressively)
Shut up, you little fuck. What I should
be doing is throwing your naked ass in
a cell and hosing you down for the
night, but there’s been a lot of bad
publicity lately, so all I can do is
fine you.

He hands the citation to Stuart.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 53.

S
TUART
A thousand dollars?!

OFFICER DAN
Are you complaining, fuck?

NANCY
No, we’re not.

OFFICER DAN
Next time I enter to Mrs. Connelly’s
apartment — and I will be checking in —
I want to break out in a sweat, I want
to be on the goddam beach at Hedonism
II, do you understand?

STUART/NANCY
Yes, officer.

They shiver for a long beat.

STUART
Is that all?

OFFICER DAN
No, it’s such a lovely night, I thought
we would stand out here for a while.

We pull out slowly as they continue to shiver.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Later that Night

The two sit in bed, wearing little but still drenched in


sweat. They are examining several bills and fines laid

STUART
(wiping brow)
I sure hope she’s comfortable up there.

NANCY
It says the fine isn’t due for another
45 days.

STUART
Oh, well, everything will be different
then.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 54.

N
ANCY
It will be. We’ll get our year-end
bonuses, our raises...

STUART
(re: credit receipt)
Couch? What couch?

NANCY
It’s being delivered Tuesday. It’s
really more of a love seat, but it’s a
George Smith and —

STUART
Let’s cancel it.

NANCY
(hurt)
It’s my Christmas present.

STUART
Your Christmas present is
(pointing to ceiling)
granny’s trip to Hedonism II up there;
mine is all that lovely exposed copper
piping in her bathroom.

NANCY
(suggesting solution)
Let’s throw a party!

STUART
Excuse me? Is my face registering
incredulity, because all my, circuits,
just went crackle-fizz. Party?

NANCY
A party.

STUART
You mean, like a rent party? Because
that might not be a bad idea.

NANCY
Like a rent party, but for adults.
We’ve been putting a lot of money into
this house. It’s time it started paying
us back.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 55.

S
TUART
(overpronoucing, as to a
foreigner)
Do you speak English?

NANCY
Trust me.

She kisses him sexily. What’s he going to do?

Ext. 120 Prospect Park West — Evening — A Few Days Later

A series of town cars pull up, disgorging media swells.

Int. Building — Foyer — Continuous

A coat check has been set up; Nancy greets some guests at
her door.

NANCY
Welcome to our home.

With a sweeping gesture, she introduces the apartment. All


traces their old furniture are gone; however, guests can’t
seem to move without bumping into some antique (there are
many more than before). A few tiny pumpkins and ears of
baby Indian corn suggest a Thanksgiving theme.

The apartment is filled with New York media types. We TRACK


through the crowd, hearing snippets of conversation.

TINA BROWN
They could not have gotten this for
less than a million.

KURT ANDERSEN
Look at the gadrooning on this
sideboard.

JANE PRATT
(re: couch)
Oh my god, is that a George Smith?

Int. Apartment — Kitchen — Continuous

Stuart is at the door to the kitchen, talking to a server.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 56.

S
TUART
Let’s try to spread the shrimp out over
the evening, okay?

A hand reaches in a grabs a handful of shrimp. It’s Kevin.

KEVIN
(eating shrimp)
Looks like somebody got a raise.

Kevin sticks his tongue out and wiggles it suggestively.

STUART
(laughing)
Oh, fuck you.

KEVIN
(surveying crowd)
Lots of graphic designers. I like that.

Kevin makes a diving-into-water gesture and exits. Nancy


enters with LAUREN, a plump, chatty woman of about 40.

NANCY
Stuart, this is Lauren, remember, from
the third floor.

LAUREN
I invited myself, I hope that’s all
right. It’s all right, right?

She takes a shrimp off the server’s tray, and eats it.

STUART
(half-kidding)
Okay, but no shrimp for you.

LAUREN
(horse-like snort)
You… writer. So how are you guys
settling in?
(taking another shrimp)
It’s a different life, huh? I used to
live on West 86th, and I had creepy guys
on the street following me home all the
time, so I said no more of that!
(horse-like snort; takes
another shrimp)
That Mrs. Connelly is such a sweetie.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 57.

N
ANCY
The TV at night, it doesn’t bother you?

LAUREN
My bedroom’s in the back, and with all
the medications I have to take — don’t
ask — I’m out cold for 14 hours a day.

The server with the shrimp tries to leave; Lauren grabs


her, and takes the last two shrimp. The server turns back
into kitchen for more.

LAUREN (CONT.)
I swear, that Mrs. Connelly is going to
outlive us all.

STUART
What do you mean by that?

LAUREN
Did you know she’s never been in the
hospital, not even the day she was
born?

STUART
No, I didn’t know that.

LAUREN
She’s practically immortal. In the
twelve years I’ve been here, she’s
outlasted nine landlords.

NANCY
Nine people have moved out of here in
the last dozen years?

LAUREN
Not all people, most were couples, like
you — not that couples aren’t people!
(horsey snort; turns suddenly
serious)
And they didn’t all move out. Mr. Myer
took his own life.
(off their horrified looks)
Oh, it wasn’t messy or anything. Just
an overdose. He had money problems.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 58.

The shrimp server


walks past. Lauren smiles sheepishly and follows the server
off camera. Stuart and Nancy appear stricken for a moment.
Nancy snaps out of it first, and slaps Stuart heartily on
the back.

NANCY
Go on. Go out there and mingle. That’s
what this is for.

Nancy pushes Stuart into the crowd.

STUART
We who are about to die…

Nancy assumes a huge party smile, and enters the fray


herself. She passes Kevin, who has Syn cornered.

KEVIN
They wanted to send me on this Thai sex
vacation, but I’m not really into that
anymore. I mean, sex, yeah. But
(gestures to himself and her)
one on one.

Syn doesn’t seem to be falling for this.

At the Entrance — A Little Later.

Nancy is talking to her PARENTS, real UPPER EAST SIDE


TYPES.

NANCY’S MOTHER
Despite you’re having not consulted me
first, I do have to admit this is a
lovely condo, dear.

NANCY
Thanks, Mom. That means a lot to —

NANCY’S MOTHER
(looks around, wrinkles nose)
But you have to give me a call before
you start decorating.

Nancy gives her party smile a little boost.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 59.

In the Library —
Later

Stuart, posed in front of his handsome books, talks with


PETER KAPLAN, editor of the New York Observer.

PETER KAPLAN
“We’re millionaires!” You really said
that?

STUART
Well, I mean, yeah.

PETER KAPLAN
That would make a great New York
Diarist for us. I could only pay you a
thousand dollars, but if it worked out,
we could maybe talk about a contract.

We PAN OVER to Nancy, who is talking to Little, Brown


publisher Sarah Crichton.

SARAH CRICHTON
We’re always looking for people to do
book covers on a freelance basis, if
you’re not too busy.

We PAN BACK to Stuart, smiling more smugly. Writer GUY


MARTIN has pulled a book off the shelf, and addresses him.

GUY MARTIN
(speaking in German)
You read “Mein Kampf” in the original
German? Any additional insights?

Stuart just smiles back.

In the Hallway — A Little later

Nancy leads Mikey (wearing a pilgrim hat) and Syn to the


bedroom. The glass bricks have been replaced, as Nancy is
describing.

NANCY
We got the stained glass from an old
Catholic Church that went out of
business.
(Mostly to Syn)
Stuart would shit if he knew what it
cost.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 60.

In the Bedroom —
Continuous

They enter; Mikey is truly impressed.

NANCY
The bedroom.

MIKEY
Well, I can see why you’ve been
spending most of your workday on E-bay.

SYN
We should do a spread on this place.
“The New Old” or something.

MIKEY
Maybe.

Mikey looks down at an orphaned bedside table against a


wall.

NANCY
That’s going in the upstairs front
bedroom. We also own the upstairs,
would you like to see it?

MIKEY
I’m intrigued.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Moments Later

The three stands outside Mrs. Connelly’s door as Nancy


knocks loudly.

NANCY
She’s as a deaf as a post, poor thing.

Lauren passes, with Kevin in tow. Mikey smiles at Nancy,


impatiently. Nancy reaches into a pocket.

NANCY
I’ve got a key — Nancy the Landlady —
we’ll just peek in.

Nancy quickly UNLOCKS three locks.

NANCY
Right now it’s a bit old person-y, but,
I think you’ll see the potential.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 61.

Nancy opens the


door a crack, and ushers Mikey over. Mikey sticks his head
in the door opening. Nancy also peeks in.

Their POV

Mrs. Connelly, wielding a can of mace, baring her teeth.

Back to Scene

Mikey receives a FULL BLAST of mace, which also catches


Nancy in the face. Nancy SCREAMS. Mikey, GAGGING and
SCREAMING, staggers backward, and down the stairs, out of
frame.

Ext. Building — A Half hour later

An ambulance pulls out. A squad car is parked in front,


its lights flashing. Guests are streaming out, shaking
their heads.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Continuous

Officer Dan has his arm around Mrs. Connelly, considerably


more timid than she was a half hour ago. Stuart sits on the
landing, pressing a cold cloth to Nancy’s face.

OFFICER SANDRA
(lecturing them)
Being a landlord doesn’t give you the
right to enter your tenant’s premises
any time you feel like it.

NANCY
(Teary, upset)
I wasn’t. I knocked!

STUART
She used pepper spray! That’s illegal,
right?

OFFICER DAN
I gave it to her. Do you have a problem
with that?

STUART
I’m just saying, it’s illegal.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 62.

O
FFICER DAN
Your wife is the one who broke and
entered, buddy. And your creepy bald-
headed friend could have just as easily
been some kind of sick gramma rapist.
In fact, I’m not sure he’s not.
(to Officer Sandra)
Call the hospital and make sure they
hold him until we can question him.

NANCY
Oh, God.

OFFICER DAN
Mrs. Connelly, would you like to press
charges?

STUART
Her press charges?

Officer Dan KICKS Stuart hard in the side. He doubles over


in PAIN.

OFFICER DAN
Quiet now.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, I couldn’t press charges. They’re
such a nice young couple.

OFFICER DAN
That’s your decision. If you change
your mind, give me a call. Is it warm
enough for you in there?

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, yes, it’s quite nice.

Officer Dan leads Mrs. Connelly back into her apartment, as


Nancy SNIFFLES and Stuart MOANS.

Int. nyny Magazine — Nancy’s Workstation — Morning

Nancy enters. Her left eye is swollen shut from the pepper
spray. There is a yellow sticky on her computer. It reads,
“See me - M.”

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 63.

Int. nyny Magazine


— Mikey’s Office — Morning

Nancy enters, smiling weakly. Mikey is at his desk (an old


top-loading Coke machine), head down, going over a layout.
His face is further hidden by a huge foam novelty cowboy
hat.) His arm is in a sling.

NANCY
Mikey?

Mikey looks up. His face is bright red. He is not smiling

Ext. Lower East Side — Sixth Street — Night

Stuart and Nancy sit in the window of “NY Dehli”, framed by


Christmas lights.

Int. NY Dehli — Continuous

A cheesy combo of traditional Indian kitsch and faux hip. A


sitar-lead combo is playing an Indian-inflected “Autumn in
New York.”

STUART
So the art department calls me and says
they were told I knew where they could
get some Hemingway autopsy photos!

NANCY
(Sharing his outrage)
That’s horrible!

STUART
What’s going on? My favorite
restaurant, sharing my outrage. I’d
assume you crashed the car, only we
don’t have one.

NANCY
(tentative)
I got fired today.

STUART
(rueful laugh)
Of course!

NANCY
Obviously, this affects our financial
situations…

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 64.

S
TUART
Ha!

NANCY
And so, I was thinking…

STUART
We’re not taking money from your
parents.

NANCY
My parents won’t give us any money.
They don’t like you, remember?

STUART
Even if they would, we won’t.

NANCY
(fearing his reaction)
I think maybe we should dip into the
(under her breath)
Fuck You Money.

STUART
(reacting poorly)
Not the Fuck You Money! I need that in
order to be able to say, “fuck you!”

NANCY
(lowering her own voice)
It’s there for emergencies.

STUART
(Louder and louder)
Without the Fuck You Money, I have to
just say, “O-kay.” Oh, Brownie, you
want me to eat that big plate of shit?
Right away, ma’am. Please, ma’am, can I
eat some more shit, ma’am? Please,
could you make it a big steaming bowl
of raw, chunky shit?

INDIAN RESTAURANT OWNER


I am asking you to leave now.

Many of the restaurant’s patrons are no longer hungry.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 65.

Int. Building —
Foyer — The Next Morning

Nancy, dressed in a nice business suit and carrying a


portfolio, checks her make-up. Despite several layers of
base, we can still see the pepper spray rash. She forces a
smile, and starts to walk out.

MRS. CONNELLY (O.C.)


Miss Payne?

Nancy looks up to see Mrs. Connelly on the landing.

NANCY
Yes, Mrs. Connelly?

MRS. CONNELLY
Could you come up here a moment?

NANCY
I have an important appointment, Mrs.
Connelly. Can it wait until this
afternoon?

MRS. CONNELLY
I suppose.

Nancy SIGHS, and trudges up the stairs.

NANCY
Yes, Mrs. Connelly?

MRS. CONNELLY
One of my lights is buzzing.

NANCY
I’m sure it’s nothing, Mrs. Connelly.
Could you just turn off the light, just
for a few hours, and I’ll look at just
as soon as I get back?

MRS. CONNELLY
I’m afraid it might start a fire.

Nancy DROPS her portfolio and trudges into Mrs. Connelly’s


apartment.

Int. Balls Magazine — Hallway — Morning

Stuart, tired and unshaven, walks along with Kevin.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 66.

K
EVIN
Couldn’t you dip into retirement and
keep the F-U funds intact?

STUART
It’s the same money.

They turn into:

Int. Balls Magazine — Brownie’s Office — Continuous

And are somewhat surprised to see Brownie, sitting behind


her desk completely naked. Charlie sits in his chair, also
naked, his legs demurely crossed. Most of the other editors
stand uncomfortably rather than sit.

BROWNIE
Charlie’s had a wonderful idea. The
Naked and Drunk issue. We’re going to
write and edit the February Balls
completely denuded and totally
besotted.

KEVIN
I think the New Republic already did
one of those.

BROWNIE
Off with your togs, gentlemen!

The editors look to each other with terror in their eyes.

BROWNIE
(all business)
Participation is not voluntary.

Stuart unzips his fly.

STUART
(shit-eating grin)
Right away, ma’am.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Living Room — Day

Nancy stands tip toe on a chair, unscrewing a buzzing light


bulb. She gets BADLY SHOCKED and falls out of frame.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 67.

Int. Ball’s
Magazine — Stuart’s Cubicle — Continuous

Stuart sits naked at his desk, typing glumly. We hear the


TINKLE of a bell. Charlie appears wearing a barmaid’s
serving tray, on which are shot glasses and a bottle.

CHARLIE
(a la the song, “Tequila”)
Tah-Keee-la!

Charlie pours two shots; Kevin pops up over his cubicle and
grabs one. He dutifully swallows.

STUART
Pass.

CHARLIE
Participation is not voluntary.

KEVIN
Take your meds, Rosenbaum.

Stuart picks up the shot glass.

STUART
There’s gotta be some sort of OSHA
regulation about this.

He throws back the shot.

CHARLIE
Swallow!

Stuart SWALLOWS. Charlie exits; we hear a bell TINKLE.

CHARLIE (O.C.)
Tah-keeeeee-lah!

Int. Building — Mrs. Connelly’s Doorway — Continuous

Nancy, her hair frizzed out, is about to exit.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, one more thing, dear.

Nancy closes her eyes and WHIMPERS.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 68.

Ext. 120 Prospect


Park West — Night

Stuart, a little tipsy, clownishly takes the stairs three


at a time.

Int. Apartment — Entranceway — Moments Later

Stuart opens the door, grandly.

STUART
(Desi Arnaz voice)
Honey, I’m home!

Stuart doesn’t see Nancy. He hears:

NANCY (O.C.)
(Quiet sobbing)

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — A Moment Later

Stuart enters to finds Nancy sitting on the bed in sweats


and a t-shirt. Her face his red and puffy, both from
crying and from the pepper spray. Stuart sits down next to
her and puts his hand on her shoulder.

STUART
What did she do this time?

NANCY
It’s what I did.

Nancy’s Flashback

Nancy kneels on the stairs, tapping with a hammer.

NANCY (V.O.)
I was fixing the stairs...

STUART (V.O.)
What the hell’s wrong with the stairs?

Mrs. Connelly stands above Nancy, supervising her work.

MRS. CONNELLY
I hope you’re tacking that carpeting
down good.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 69.

N
ANCY
(carpet tacks in mouth)
That’s what I’m doing, Mrs. Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
It’s very loose. I could slip and fall
down those stairs and break my neck.

Close on

Nancy’s face, fantasizing.

Her fantasy

Mrs. Connelly, in her Oriental dress, takes one step down


the stairs when the carpet-runner practically flies out
from under her. She FLOPS CARTOONISHLY down the steps, end-
over-end and cart-wheeling, as we hear over-the-top sounds
of BONES SNAPPING.

Mrs. Connelly lies at the bottom of the steps, face down


but with the rest of her body perfectly right side up.

Close on

Nancy’s face as she smiles, causing the carpet tacks in her


mouth to tilt up at a devilish angle.

Out of Flashback

Nancy’s eyes are rimmed with tears.

NANCY
I can’t believe I did that!

STUART
(confused)
What did you do? Did you push her down
the stairs?

NANCY
No, but I imagined it! And I liked it!

She sobs on Stuart’s shoulder.

NANCY (CONT.)
What’s wrong with me? I’m evil!

Stuart hugs her reassuringly.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 70.

S
TUART
Nancy, Nancy. After all that woman has
done to us, there’d be something wrong
with you if you didn’t want her dead.

NANCY
You?

STUART
(Has given this some thought)
Look, I’m not saying she deserves to
die, but she should be dead. She’s
somewhere between 95 and 105 years old,
at least 20 years more than she’s
allotted. She’s living practically rent
free, with two full-time servants — you
and me truly — she’s got free medical
care, which we as taxpayers are also
providing, and what has she done for
anybody? She drove her husband to drink
himself into an early grave, she drove
poor Mr. Myer to kill himself, and now
she’s killing us with all these repairs
and fines we can’t afford. She got you
fired, and you know, not being able to
quit my job is going to shorten my
life. That’s life she’s stealing from
me. And she’s just up there, you know,
blithely living our future. You know,
in, uh, Eskimoland, she’d be on an ice
floe. Bye bye, Mrs. Connelly! You’ve
outlived your usefulness! Bye-bye!

Nancy LAUGHS reflexively; she smacks Stuart playfully.

NANCY
You’re awful, too.

STUART
There’s nothing you can do about it, so
you might as well dream.

Nancy cuddles into Stewart. He lies back on the bed, and


reaches for the remote. He turns on the TV.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 71.

N
ANCY
I feel bad for her. She doesn’t have
any family, just those brass band
biddies for friends, you know, maybe
she’s always calling us up there
because she needs the company.

STUART
Maybe she’s just a bitch.

Nancy slaps his chest, LAUGHING. Stuart sees something on


the TV and turns up the volume with the remote.

On Screen

Behind the FEMALE NEWSCASTER is a mortise of a caduceus


superimposed on a skull and crossbones. The mortise reads,
“KILLER FLU?”

FEMALE NEWSCASTER
…accompanied by nausea and violent
diarrhea. Health authorities are
warning that this strain is
particularly dangerous, and potentially
deadly, to children under five and
especially the elderly.

Back to Scene

In a wide shot, we see Nancy and Stuart watching this,


silently. On the TV, the newscaster turns to the
SPORTSCASTER.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER
Those Nets could have used a couple of
last minute flu shots, eh, Hank?

SPORTSCASTER
(a little confused)
That’s right, Pepper! Let’s go to the—

Nancy takes the remote from Stuart and clicks off the TV.
She rolls into him and kisses him. He reaches back and
turns off the light with one hand as he goes to cradle her
face with the other.

NANCY (IN DARK)


Ooh. Don’t touch that side of the face.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 72.

S
TUART (IN DARK)
Sorry.

They KISS.

Ambient Music: “Hawaii 5-0” Theme

NANCY (IN DARK)


(giggling)
Book me, Danno.

STUART (IN DARK)


(After a beat)
That doesn’t make sense.

NANCY
(commanding)
Do it.

STUART
Right away, ma’am.

Ext. Subway station — F stop — Morning

As he starts down the stairs, Stuart is jostled and drops


his stainless steel coffee cup. He watches it bounce to the
bottom. A businessman at the bottom quickly picks up the
cup and continues on.

Int. Subway Platform — A Couple of Minutes Later

Stuart waits for the train next to a NEW YORK WOMAN and her
small child. Suddenly, the small child PROJECTILE VOMITS
onto the tracks. A HELPFUL IMMIGRANT MAN approaches the
woman.

HELPFUL IMMIGRANT MAN


(broken English)
Is he sick?

NEW YORK WOMAN


What the fuck does it look like?

A train pulls into the station; Stuart maneuvers to get


onto the packed car with everybody else.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 73.

Int. Subway Car —


Moments Later

The train pulls out. Stuart is really smashed in. He sees a


businessman holding a stainless steel coffee cup. He is
about to tap him on the shoulder when he sees another
businessman with an identical cup.

Stuart shrugs and assumes the traditional subway stare.


That’s when he notices

The Other End of the Car

It’s completely empty, save one very grubby homeless man.


The man VOMITS into a Macy’s bag (Product Placement
Opportunity!) Watching this, Stuart makes a decision.

Stuart muscles and worms his way through the crowd. He


breaks free, and marches purposefully to the empty end of
the car. He sits down next to the homeless man. He draws a
DEEP BREATH. His eyes water. He closes his eyes, tilts his
head back, and BREATHES in and out.

Int. Apartment — Bathroom — 36 Hours Later

Stuart crouches on the toilet, bent over with cramps. The


door suddenly OPENS and Nancy lunges in.

NANCY
Ohgod.

Nancy drops to her knees, pries Stuart’s legs apart and


VOMITS VIOLENTLY between them. After a beat, she pulls her
head out and smiles at Stuart weakly.

NANCY
Happy Thanksgiving.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Hours Later

Nancy and Stuart lean on each other for support. Mrs.


Connelly opens the door a crack. Nancy leans in close to
talk to her.

NANCY
(a little breathy)
Hi, Mrs. Connelly. We were wondering if
there was anything we could do for you.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 74.

S
TUART
(hitting the ‘h’)
Happy Thanksgiving.

MRS. CONNELLY
You two look awful. Did you catch that
horrible Chinese flu?

Stuart and Nancy don’t know what she’s talking about.

STUART
Oh, no, we’re fine.

MRS. CONNELLY
That’s good. But you should get a flu
shot. Officer Dan took me to get one
last week.

NANCY
We’ll do that. Well, Happy
Thanksgiving.

MRS. CONNELLY
No, come in. I do have something for
you to do.

She SLAMS the door in their faces, UNHOOKS the chain, and
lets them in.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Parlor — Continuous

In front of her chair is a TV tray with the remains of a


huge Thanksgiving feast.

MRS. CONNELLY
This lovely black lady brought me a
whole turkey and a lovely dinner but
I’m afraid some of the turkey bones
didn’t go down the disposal.

Nancy and Stuart follow her into the kitchenette.

NANCY
You don’t have a disposal, Mrs.
Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, I’m so silly. Where did I have a
disposal once?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 75.

N
ANCY
You never had a disposal, Mrs.
Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
(indicating sink)
Well, it should be taken care of. It’s
very unsanitary.

STUART
And it might start a fire.

MRS. CONNELLY
I was going to call a plumber.

NANCY
(mostly to herself)
Oh Christ. On Thanksgiving.

MRS. CONNELLY
Please don’t take the Lord’s name in
vain in my house, Miss Payne.

Nancy wants to say something vicious, but can’t. Stuart is


staring down into the sink, not looking so hot.

His POV

It’s a brown, greasy mess with skin floating on it and


glops of mashed potato and cranberry churning in it.

Dissolve to Later

Stuart’s lies under the sink, inexpertly STRUGGLING to


loosen the elbow joint. The joint comes loose, and a sink
full of watery goo pours onto his face.

Nancy looks down into the sink; through the open pipe she
sees Stuart’s gristle-covered face.

Stuart looks up in terror; through the open pipe he can see


his imminently upchucking wife.

Nancy’s head dips into the sink as she VOMITS. We hear it


SPLASH out of the bottom of the pipe. Stuart MOANS weakly.

Mrs. Connelly watches all this matter-of-factly.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 76.

M
RS. CONNELLY
Let me get you some things so you can
clean that up.

She patters away.

Ext. Prospect Park — Day

Bundled-up kids play happily in the park.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

Nancy and Stuart both lay on the bed at odd angles, near
death. The phone RINGS. Stuart answers.

STUART
What day is it?

Intercut with:

Int. Balls Magazine — Cubicle — Morning

Kevin stands up at his cubicle. The Desperate Middle-Aged


Junior Editor walks by, completely naked.

KEVIN
It’s Wednesday. You gotta get in here,
Rosenbaum. Brownie keeps asking where
you are.

STUART
I’m at death’s door. Knock knock. Oh,
look, he’s here. I’m dead.

KEVIN
She doesn’t give a shit, man. She came
back to work three hours after giving
birth.

STUART
Giving birth to what?

KEVIN
I’d come in. She’s really drunk, and
she’s a real mean drunk.

BROWNIE (O.C.)
Get that sorry excuse for a bum out of
my sight!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 77.

Kevin looks down


the hall. We hear Brownie CACKLE as the Desperate Middle-
Aged Junior Editor scurries out just as a stapler hits him
in the backside.

KEVIN
Get in here, man. Your ass could save
your job.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

Stuart tries to hang up the phone, but more or less drops


it to the floor.

STUART
Gotta go into work.

He starts to stand, but falls woozily back on the bed. They


both stare up at the ceiling.

STUART (CONT.)
Kill me.

NANCY
I can’t believe we tried to kill Mrs.
Connelly.

STUART
I don’t know what you’re talking about.

NANCY
You know full well. We thought, we,
when you got sick, on purpose, you knew
there was a chance…

STUART
You can’t testify against me.

NANCY
I wouldn’t do that, sweetie.

STUART
Well, if that’s what we were trying to
do, we sure did a shitty job of it.

Nancy LAUGHS RUEFULLY. There is a very long beat.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 78.

S
TUART (CONT.)
You know, if a person was gonna do
something like that, they should, you
know…
(long beat)
Do it right.

Nancy clasps Stuart’s hand tightly. They close their eyes


and go limp on the bed.

Ext. Prospect Park — An Hour or So Later

Nancy and Stuart walk slowly in the park, arm in arm, like
the two very sick people they are.

NANCY
Wow, murder.

STUART
It’s probably best that you not say
that out loud in public.

NANCY
I just never thought of myself as an
“mmmmm”-er.

STUART
Look, statistically she’s already dead.
Nature has simply overlooked her. She’s
been moseying off this mortal coil, and
we’d be encouraging her to shuffle,
like all responsible citizens do.

NANCY
How much Nyquil have you had?

STUART
Not nearly enough.
(long beat)
We’re going to lose the apartment.

NANCY
Our home.

STUART
She’s already killed one of her
landlords. And she’s got her foot on
our throats.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 79.

N
ANCY
Self-defense.

They walk in front of the playground. Nancy stops to watch.

STUART
We’re putting her on an ice floe,
that’s all. To make room for future
generations.

NANCY
(face lighting up)
For the children.

Nancy hugs Stuart, while watching the children play. He


hugs her back. It’s a very romantic tableau.

Int. Balls Magazine — Afternoon

A naked Stuart sits at his desk, typing energetically. He


has never looked so engaged.

On his computer screen

A web page loads. It is very plain-looking site, called


“HowToKill.com.” Below the title flashing red text reads,
“For Entertainment Purposes Only”

On Stuart

He takes a swig from a whisky bottle on his desk.

On his computer screen

Stuart’s cursor scrolls quickly down a stacked, selectable


list: co-workers, neighbors, neighbor’s pets, public
officials, relatives… The cursor stops on senior citizens
and CLICKS (next on the list is spouses).

On Stuart

He reads with interest while taking another swig of whisky.


He presses a couple of buttons, and some pages start
spilling out of a printer next to his cubicle. He hovers
over the printer, taking each page as it prints. He turns
back to his computer.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 80.

On his computer
screen

The cursor CLICKS on the “special” column and selects


“erase disk.” A warning pops up. “Do you really want to
erase Stu’s Mac”?

On Stuart

Clicking “yes” with an almost sinister smile.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Kitchen — Simultaneous

Nancy (the redness on her face has subsided, but is still


there)and Mrs. Connelly stare down at a small black object
on the counter.

NANCY
That’s not a mouse dropping, Mrs.
Connelly. It’s a raisin.

MRS. CONNELLY
(leaning in close)
It doesn’t look like any raison I’ve
ever seen.

As Mrs. Connelly leans over, Nancy briefly eyes a heavy


skillet on the stove. Mrs. Connelly stands up.

MRS. CONNELLY (CONT.)


It’s the leavings of a mouse.

NANCY
(losing patience)
It’s a raisin.

Nancy matter-of-factly picks up the object and pops it in


her mouth. She gets a very strange look on her face.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, dear, I should have told you. I
sprayed it with Lysol.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 81.

Ext. East Village


— Late Afternoon

A tiny storefront has been completely blacked out except


for “ANARCHY” sloppily painted in read across the window.
Stuart, acting about as suspicious as possible, exits the
store with a paper bag full of books. He is wearing a pull-
over sweatshirt and large sunglasses — the Unabomber
Disguise.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Saturday Afternoon

Sun streams in the window. We PAN over to the bed, where we


see the titles of several pamphlets and books with type-
only covers: “Art of the Kill,” “Amateur Assassination,”
“50 Ways to Off Your Lover,” “Clean Kills,” etc.

Nancy and Stuart lazily lying on the bed, their legs


overlapping, flipping through the books and trading them as
if they were reading the Sunday New York Times together.

Nancy picks up a book with the title “27 Simple Murders”


printed in plain Helvetica and off-center.

NANCY
This publisher could use a good graphic
designer.

STUART
Do you know any good ones that are
available?

Nancy kicks him with faux petulance.

STUART
(laughing)
Ow!
(re: book he’s reading)
How about this?

He hands her the book (The title is simply, “KILL!, Vol.


5”). Nancy scrunches up her face in disgust.

NANCY
Too messy.
(Been on her mind)
Stuart, what about Officer Dan?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 82.

S
TUART
(cocky)
I think we’re smarter than Officer Dan.

We hear the BRASS ENSEMBLE from above. Nancy and Stuart


smile at each other and cozy closer together.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — The Next Day

Nancy and Stuart sit on the stairs, in crouched half hidden


positions. Wearing yellow rubber gloves, they rapidly twist
banisters back and forth. They’re both hopped up on
adrenaline.

NANCY
She’s gone to the pharmacy, so we’ve
got two hours.

STUART
The pharmacy is two blocks away.

NANCY
She likes to recount the pills.

Stuart twists a banister and it moves easily.

STUART
These are loose.

NANCY
(diligently twisting)
I noticed it when I was tacking down
the carpet. I’m surprised she hasn’t
noticed it.

STUART
It’s her own fault then.

Nancy stands and backs up against Mrs. Connelly’s door.

NANCY
(miming it as she speaks)
Okay, little Mrs. Complainy pitter-pats
out, holds the railing for support,
ancient railing collapses, over she
goes, Aaaaaahhh. Tragic. One paragraph
in the New York Post.

Stuart stands and puts his arm around Nancy’s waist.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 83.

S
TUART
You’re sexy when you’re evil.

They kiss. As they do so, the handrail starts to move, not


out, but parallel with the stairs. The couple looks just as
the banisters start to collapse on one another like
dominos, gathering speed as it rounds the corner. The final
banisters bounce wildly on the wood flooring. Two bounce up
and SMASH into Nancy’s antique stain glass.

NANCY
(Stifled scream)

STUART
At least they weren’t that expensive.

Ext. 120 Prospect Park West — A Couple Days Later

The street lamps are striped with red plastic for the
holiday season.

Fish-eye Lens

We watch Mrs. Connelly, in a black wool coat and wearing a


small black hat with a semi-veil, as she pitter-pats toward
the front door. She stops, and turns around as if she’s
forgotten something.

NANCY (O.C.)
Jesus Christ!

Close on

Nancy on the other side of her door, staring through the


peephole impatiently.

Int. Building — Foyer — Continuous

Mrs. Connelly walks a couple of steps back, then mentally


satisfies herself that she hasn’t forgotten anything, turns
and pitter-pats out.

Another Angle

The apartment door and Nancy jumps out and recons the area
like a commando. She is dressed in a black sweatsuit and
wears black gloves.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 84.

N
ANCY
(gesturing anxiously)
Go go go!

Stuart runs out, in black jeans, turtleneck and gloves, and


scurries up the stairs. (We see it has be rebuilt, probably
at some expense, with lots of clamps still in place; also,
cardboard covers the broken stained glass). Nancy does a
quick recon, and runs up the stairs after him.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — Continuous

Stuart is crouching down in front of the lock, even though


he is using the key. When the door opens, he clenches his
fist like he’s accomplished something. Nancy pushes him
inside.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Continuous

Nancy shuts the door, quickly locks it; she’s all business.

NANCY
Okay, she’s going to be at the funeral
for at least an hour; but let’s be out
of here in thirty.

STUART
Who died, anyway?

NANCY
The tuba player.

STUART
God does answer prayers.

NANCY
(anxious)
Let’s move.

The two “break” and scurry in different directions. We


follow Stuart as he scampers about the parlor, looking for
dangers he can create. He picks up the praying hands
sculpture and stands it up in Mrs. Connelly’s chair.
Thinking better of that, he puts it back.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 85.

Int. Mrs.
Connelly’s Apartment — Bathroom — Continuous

Nancy runs in and scans quickly. Seeing that the new tiles
in the shower don’t match the old ones, she gets briefly
heartsick. Then, remembering her mission, she starts going
through all the bottles around Mrs. Connelly’s sink and on
top of her toilet tank. It’s mostly beauty products. Nancy
picks up a large jar of face cream.

NANCY
Chanel? I can’t even afford Chanel.

Nancy opens the medicine cabinet; there are dozens of


prescription bottles inside.

NANCY
(hushed excitement)
Jackpot.

In the Parlor — Continuous

Stuart fiddles with the brackets holding a very large


crucifix hanging from the wall. The crucifix drops down and
BANGS him on the head.

In the Bathroom — Continuous

Nancy is swapping medications in bottles, as quickly as


possible.

NANCY
Little white pills in with other little
white pills, tragic mix-up.

She puts the bottles back in the cabinet, and closes it.
She looks in the shower, grimaces at the tiles again, and
grabs a bottle of shampoo. She starts squirting some on the
bottom of the bathtub.

NANCY (CONT.)
(shaking head)
So many accidents occur in the shower…

In the Parlor — Continuous

Stuart is sliding the giant Pietà clock from earlier so


that it teeters a bit on the mantle.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 86.

N
ANCY (O.C.)
(whispered shout)
No!

The clock starts to fall and Stuart barely catches it.


Nancy walks up to mantle and slides the clock back.

NANCY
If that falls on her, the irony — the
media will be all over it.

STUART
Good point.

NANCY
Stuart, are you bleeding?

A trickle of blood runs down the middle of Stuart’s


forehead.

STUART
Am I?

NANCY
Let’s not leave any of that in this
apartment.

Nancy holds the sides of Stuart’s face, bends his head


down, and licks the blood off his forehead.

NANCY
(all business)
Let’s get out of here.

SFX: Police Siren

They practically jump out of clothes. Stuart calms down


first.

STUART
The bird.

The both turn to look at the bird, which segues into a


BUGLE CALL.

NANCY
(suddenly concerned)
Oh, who will take care of Mr. Fawkes?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 87.

(
suddenly okay about it)
I guess we will.

STUART
(thinking out loud)
You know, remember when she said she
couldn’t live without Mr. Fawkes?

NANCY
(horrified, near tears)
You take that back!

STUART
(backpedaling furiously)
I was just kidding. Kiddingkidding.

NANCY
It’s not funny.
(then all business again)
We’d better get out of here.

They scurry toward the door; Stuart peels away from her.

STUART
One more thing!

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing — A Few Moments Later

Nancy peeks out of the door anxiously.

NANCY
(loud whisper)
Hurry up!

Int. Mrs. Connelly Apartment — Kitchen — Continuous

Stuart lies on the floor next to stove, with the broiler


door open. He BLOWS several times hard.

STUART
And out goes the pilot.

He hops quickly to his feet, and turns the oven on.

STUART
An hour at 375 should do it.

Nancy sticks her head in the door.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 88.

N
ANCY
Did you blow out the pilot for the
burners?

Just as Stuart turns back toward the stove, he is instantly


enveloped in a HUGE FIREBALL. It burns off quickly, leaving
his face sooty and his hair frazzled.

Ext. D’Agastino’s on Seventh Avenue — Park Slope — Night

There are Christmas decorations in the window.

Close on

A grocery shelf containing various burn ointments. Nancy’s


hand reaches in and takes several tubes of each.

Int. D’Agastino’s — Continuous

Nancy walks down the aisle with her shopping basket (which
noticeably contains a cartoon of eggnog). Even in relaxed
moment like this, she is a little jittery, as if somebody
might be watching her.

She notices something, and grabs a bottle of cleanser off


the shelf, reading the back.

Close on bottle

It reads, “Warning: May Irritate Skin.”

Nancy makes a DISMISSIVE SOUND and puts the bottle back.


She quickly picks up another one.

Close on bottle

It reads, “Harmful or fatal if swallowed.”

Nancy throws that one in her basket, which we now see also
has several boxes of rat poison in it.

Int. Apartment — Entranceway — A Half Hour Later

Nancy walks in WHISTLING that tune the brass band had


played earlier.

NANCY
(calling)
Sweetie?!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 89.

S
TUART (O.C.)
In here!

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — A Moment Later

Nancy enters to find Stuart on a ladder, sawing a hole in


the ceiling.

STUART
(slightly manic)
I feel like Sylvester up here.
(turns to Nancy, does
not-great impression)
Sthufferin’ Sthuccotash, I’m gonna get
that granny if ith the lasth thing I
do!

He LAUGHS oddly, his face crimson from first-and-second


degree burns and shiny from various unguents. There are a
few tiny blisters on his forehead; his eyebrows are
partially missing. All this, combined with his chipper
demeanor, create a somewhat frightening effect.

Nancy approaches and surveys the hole. In addition to the


crude circle torn out of the ceiling, the support beams
have been sawed through nearly to the point of breaking.

NANCY
(gentle criticism)
Sweetie, aren’t the police going to
know you sawed through the floor? I
mean, they’re going to see the
(gestures sawing, can’t think
of the right word)
Saw marks.

STUART
Not after our friends the termite are
through with it.

Stuart produces a glass vial with bugs in it.

NANCY
Where’d you get termites?

STUART
Pet store.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 90.

N
ANCY
People keep termites as pets?

STUART
(shrugs)
New York. I don’t know, maybe something
eats them.

NANCY
(impressed)
Wow, that is really — that’s like
something out of a book.

STUART
(excited by the thought)
Oh, you think I should save it for the
book?
(reconsiders)
No, no, priorities.

Stuart gently pushes the live termites into the cuts in the
support beams.

STUART
Eat, my pretties.

Stuart sets off the ladder, and almost onto Nancy, who is
crouched down, picking up pieces of fallen ceiling plaster.

STUART
(worried)
What are you doing?

NANCY
I’m picking up —

STUART
(insistent)
You can’t pick up.

NANCY
But it’s… dirty.

STUART
It’s debris. We need debris!

Stuart takes the debris out of Nancy’s hands and puts it


back down. He musses it up for good measure. Nancy back
off. She stands and surveys the room.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 91.

N
ANCY
You know, as long as we’re putting a
hole in the ceiling, this might be a
better place for a staircase. We could
turn the two front rooms into a split
level living-slash-entertainment area.

STUART
(distracted)
I thought this was supposed to be my
office.

NANCY
It could be that, too.

Stuart exits. Nancy doesn’t really notice.

NANCY
A den-slash-media room.

Stuart returns, lugging the wooden pyramid. He places it


right under the ceiling hole.

STUART
A little insurance.

NANCY
(upset)
You can’t — that cost $600!

This is news to Stuart. But he just shakes his head,


amused.

STUART
The best six hundred bucks we ever
spent.

Nancy appraises the scene, unhappily.

NANCY
It just doesn’t look right there.

STUART
Function over form.

NANCY
Shouldn’t you at least clean the debris
out from under it?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 92.

S
TUART
You’re thinking!

Nancy kneels down; Stuart tips the pyramid up and she


sweeps the debris from under it.

STUART
You are the evil genius.

NANCY
(laughs)
No, you are.

He tilts the pyramid back down. They kiss over the top,
then look up. We follow their gaze to the hole, and then
through the floor to:

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Parlor — Continuous

The “trap” lies a few feet between Mrs. Connelly’s chair


and her TV set. We watch from the trap’s POV as Mrs.
Connelly patters down the hall right at it. She stops
inches from it and turns around.

Music from TV (Very Loud): “Quincy” Theme

The camera swings to follow Mrs. Connelly as she walks


right by the trap, missing it by inches. She sits in her
chair innocently.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

Stuart and Nancy sit on the bed. Stuart stares up at the


hole; Nancy down at the pyramid.

STUART
Is that the theme from “Barnaby Jones”?

NANCY
(re:pyramid)
The police are going to know that piece
doesn’t belong there.

STUART
Not Barnaby Jones. This is going to
drive me crazy.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 93.

N
ANCY
Stuart, I don’t feel good about this.
Could we move it about five feet that
way?

STUART
If we move it five feet that way, it
won’t be under the hole.

Nancy frowns. Stuart hugs her.

STUART
It’s only for a little while, honey.
Then you can move it anywhere you
little heart desires.

Dissolve to much later

Stuart is dog-tired; Nancy has her arms around her knees


and is rocking nervously. From above we hear:

WOMAN ON TV (VERY LOUD)


I thought our lack of intimacy was my
husband’s fault, but you made me
realize it was my hair. It was a ratty
mess.

NANCY
(through gritted teeth)
I. Hate. That. There.

From above, we hear a chair leg SQUEAK on the floor.

STUART
(urgent whisper)
She’s getting up.

Stuart and Nancy watch the ceiling, listening as Mrs.


Connelly’s PITTER-PATTING FOOTSTEPS seem to come right up
to the trap but then again miss it by inches.

NANCY
Shit.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Kitchenette — Continuous

She reaches behind an oatmeal box and pulls out a bottle of


cheap scotch. She fills a small Pebbles jelly jar to the
brim, and starts pattering back.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 94.

Trap’s POV

She stops at the precipice.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Parlor — Continuous

She places her jelly jar full of whisky on top of the TV,
and starts changing the channels. From the TV, we hear a
quite loud PING-PONG MATCH accompanied by with EXCITED
JAPANESE COMMENTARY. The vibration caused by this causes
the jelly jar to slide off and SHATTER on the ground.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, dear.

In Stuart and Nancy’s Bedroom

As he hears Mrs. Connelly PATTER back toward the kitchen,


Stuart throws up his arms in EXASPERATION. Nancy stares at
the pyramid.

NANCY
(miming this)
Maybe if I rotate it…

In Mrs. Connelly’s Parlor

Mrs. Connelly patters back from the kitchen with a sponge,


dustpan and brush. She looks down and sees a lot of the
broken glass is under the TV’s rolling cart.

In Stuart and Nancy’s Bedroom

Nancy climbs off the bed and starts to fiddle with the
pyramid. Stuart rolls his eyes.

In Mrs. Connelly’s Parlor

Mrs. Connelly starts to push the TV cart away from the


spill.

Trap’s POV

The rolling cart barrels right at it. We hear the WOOD


CRACKING. We quickly switch to:

TV’s POV

The floors gives way, revealing Nancy, looking up in


surprise. The camera plummets towards her.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 95.

On the Gaping Hole


in the Ceiling

Mrs. Connelly peers over the edge.

Her POV

Nancy’s lower torso is pinned under the TV. She still has
her hands on the pyramid.

On Mrs. Connelly

Looking down.

MRS. CONNELLY
Goodness. I could have fallen through
there.

Ext. Building — The Next Morning

The police car is in front again.

Close on

Officer Sandra’s face.

OFFICER SANDRA
(“Let me get this straight”)
The television set fell through the
floor and landed directly on your wife.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

Stuart sits on the bed, trying to act casual. Officer


Sandra is taking the report. Officer Dan is kicking through
the broken wood on the floor.

STUART
Some kind of a freak accident, huh?

OFFICER DAN
What the hell happened to your face?

STUART
(practiced casual, too fast)
Oh, I had one of those chemical peels.
They burn off the top layer of skin. It
makes you look years younger.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 96.

O
FFICER DAN
You should sue whoever did that to you.
(pointing up)
You’re going to need to get that fixed
right away. Mrs. Connelly said she
nearly fell through there.

STUART
We’re getting some estimates.

OFFICER DAN
Right away, Dr. Phibes. And you owe
Mrs. Connelly a new TV.
(before Stuart can respond)
A nice one.

We here a METALLIC CLACKING O.C. Nancy enters, carrying a


tray. The lower part of her leg is in a cast; the rest is
wrapped in a bandage. A jointed steel armature surrounds
her whole leg like a scaffolding; Metal pins go into her
leg just above and below her knee and at hip level. Nancy
CLACKS over to the Officer Dan with great difficulty.

NANCY
I have to apologize for all the debris.
Would you like a cookie?

Ext. Building — Evening — Establishing

On TV

A clip from “Tweety’s S.O.S.” (1951)

GRANNY
I’ll teach you to molest helpless
little birdies.

Granny starts whacking SLYVESTER with an umbrella.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Continuous

Where Stuart sits on the bed watching this, pen poised over
a yellow legal pad. He grimaces and fast-forwards. We WIDEN
to reveal Nancy is handing a check over to a SENIOR WORKMAN
as his workers cart off their ladders and tools.

NANCY
I know it’s late, but it would be great
if you could clean up now.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 97.

(
off his blank stare)
Or you could come back in the morning.

SENIOR WORKMAN
We don’t clean up.

He walks off.

On TV

A clip from “To Beep or Not to Beep,” (1963) in which Wile


E. Coyote is victimizes by his own catapult three times in
quick succession.

Back to Scene

Stuart throws his pen down onto his legal pad.

STUART
This is a waste of time.

He clicks off the TV. Nancy is laboriously using her good


leg to “sweep” all the debris into a pile.

NANCY
That check’s going to bounce.

Stuart gets up and starts to pace. Nancy awkwardly lowers


herself to the floor to continue her clean-up.

STUART
(thinking out loud)
Okay, all right, after Mrs. Connelly,
“moves out,” we’ll have to sublet the
upstairs until we can get back on out
feet. We can probably get, what,
fifteen-hundred? More?

Nancy is lying on her side, sweeping with her hand.

NANCY
If somebody dies in an apartment, don’t
you have to tell?

STUART
It’s a great apartment; no one’s going
to care about that.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 98.

N
ANCY
I would.

STUART
(sarcastic)
Oh, golly, I guess we’ll just have to
lie then.

NANCY
(sitting up)
You know, Stuart, I think we’re being
too smart for own good.

STUART
Smart?

NANCY
We’re making everything overly
complicated. Maybe it should just be
something simple.

STUART
Push her down the stairs, you mean.

NANCY
That might not work.

STUART
If it doesn’t, we carry her back up and
push her down again.

As Stuart says this, he casually puts one hand on the


fireplace mantle. It CRUMBLES away, causing him to TOPPLE
over. The rest of the mantle FALLS in pieces on top of him.
As he emerges from the rubble, we see several termites
crawling across his face.

Int. Apartment — Entranceway — Very Late That Night

Stuart and Nancy are again in their commando outfits. Nancy


looks out the peephole, holding a pillow.

STUART
I still think this is going to look
suspicious.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 99.

N
ANCY
Old people die in their sleep all the
time. Especially with all the
excitement she’s had lately.

STUART
(realizing)
Is that my pillow?

NANCY
Mine’s too fluffy.

STUART
Why can’t we use one of her pillows?

NANCY
I don’t want to leave face prints.

Stuart CHUCKLES, and kisses the back of her neck. Nancy


puts a finger to his lips, and opens the door.

Int. Building — Foyer — Continuous

The two begin to “scurry” up the steps, except of course,


Nancy is limping wildly. As she goes up the steps, we hear
a loud SQUEAK. They freeze. Nancy signals it’s all right;
She reaches into her pocket, pulls out a tiny can of oil
and applies some to the joints of her leg brace. They
continue up the stairs silently.

Int. Mrs. Connelly’s Apartment — Doorway — Moments Later

It’s completely dark. Two dark figures enter.

STUART
(whisper)
Which bedroom is she in?

NANCY
The cute one.
(after a long beat)
Second door down.

They creep toward the hallway when the hear the distinct
sound of a MATCH BEING LIT. They turn quickly.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 100.

The flame hovers


in the air above Mrs. Connelly’s chair. After a moment, the
red tip of a cigarette glows, illuminating Mrs. Connelly’s
seemingly disembodied eyes, staring sternly.

STUART
(stifled scream)

NANCY
(thinking quickly)
Mrs. Connelly, we thought you might be
cold, so we brought you an extra
pillow.

They drop the pillow and run out.

Int. Building — Foyer — Continuous

They tear down the stairs as quickly as possible. Nancy


turns toward their door, but Stuart grabs her and pulls her
toward the door to the outside.

Ext. Building — Front Stoop — Continuous

Stuart and Nancy half stumble down the stairs. Nancy


resists being pulled any further.

NANCY
What are you—?

Stuart picks her up in his arms, and runs across the


street.

STUART
We are so fucked. We are so fucked. We
are so fucked.

He reaches the other side of Prospect Park West, runs


across the sidewalk, and DUMPS Nancy over the stone wall
leading into the park.

NANCY
(surprised, then pained
noise)

Stuart dives over the wall after her.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 101.

Ext. Prospect Park


— Other Side of Fence — Continuous

They lie on the ground. From their breaths, we can see it’s
well below freezing.

NANCY
What are you doing?

STUART
She’s calling the police!

NANCY
You don’t know—

STUART
She always calls the police!

NANCY
(realizing he’s right)
Fucking Officer Dan!

STUART
(whiny, panicked)
We’re going to have to go on the lam.
Where do you want to live? It can’t be
Los Angeles. It’s got to be someplace
like Idaho.

NANCY
(taking control)
I am not moving to Idaho. Now, calm
down. Let’s just see if the police show
up. If they do, we’ll hop the F to
Coney Island and hide out there.

STUART
(takes two deep breaths)
Okay. Good plan.

Ext. Prospect Park — Viewed from Street Side — Continuous

There is a beat of silence.

STUART (FROM BEHIND WALL)


(sarcastic, quoting her)
“We thought you might be cold, so we
brought you an extra pillow” ?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 102.

N
ANCY (FROM BEHIND WALL)
Better than you screaming.

They both CHUCKLE. A beat, then:

STUART
I’m freezing.

Dissolve to:

Ext. Prospect Park — Viewed from Street Side — Dawn

Ext. Prospect Park — Other Side of Fence — Continuous

Stuart and Nancy are curled up together on the ground,


spooning. There is frost in their hair. Nancy awakes.

Ext. Prospect Park — Street Side — a Few Moments Later

Stuart climbs over the wall, and helps Nancy over. They
start walking back toward their apartment, shivering.
Nancy’s leg apparatus is CREAKING LOUDLY.

STUART
I can’t feel my toes. I guess they’re
gone.

NANCY
Well, at least she didn’t call the
cops.

STUART
Yet.

NANCY
(hardened)
Right. We can’t waste any time. From
now on, no more fooling around.

Int. Building — Foyer — Afternoon

Nancy, dressed to go outside, exits her apartment and


closes the door. She checks a shopping list in her pocket.
It reads, “Rope, Hammer, Nails (long), Small Ax.” She puts
it in her pocket, and starts to CREAK toward the door.

MRS. CONNELLY (O.C.)


Miss Payne?

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 103.

Nancy stops, but


does not turn to address Mrs. Connelly.

NANCY
Yes, Mrs. Connelly?

MRS. CONNELLY
Could you come up here a moment?

NANCY
(again without turning)
The second I get back from the hardware
store, Mrs. Connelly.

MRS. CONNELLY
I’m afraid it can’t wait.

Nancy pivots on her brace leg, and starts up the stairs. As


she does, she surreptitiously slips her shopping list into
mouth.

Int. Building — Second Floor Landing

Nancy walks up to Mrs. Connelly and smiles at her.

NANCY
(not opening mouth)
Hmmm?

MRS. CONNELLY
First of all, dear, thank you for the
pillow last night. That was very sweet
of you.

Nancy isn’t quite sure what’s up.

NANCY
(with wad of paper in mouth)
You’re welcome.

MRS. CONNELLY
But the other thing, I hope you won’t
be mad. Officer Dan told me to buy a
nice new TV and give you the bill, but
when I ordered it, I didn’t realize it
would be so expensive.

Nancy peeks in Mrs. Connelly apartment. It’s a flat screen,


cinema aspect-ratio HDTV monitor.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 104.

M
RS. CONNELLY (CONT.)
It gets a much better picture than my
old TV. And it has a sleep timer, so if
I fall asleep watching it, it’ll turn
itself off.

NANCY
(swallowing paper)
That’s great.

Mrs. Connelly hands her the bill.

MRS. CONNELLY
They said they have easy financing.

NANCY
(big smile)
Enjoy your new TV, Mrs. Connelly.

Ext. Tompkins Square Park — Night

Stuart, looking very suspicious, walks through the park. A


man approaches him.

DEALER
Smoke. Smoke.

STUART
(to dealer)
Gun. Gun. Need to buy a gun.

The dealer looks at him askance, and hurries off.

Ext. Brooklyn — Desolate Lot by the East River — Later

Stuart stands with a GUN DEALER behind an old beat-up car.

GUN DEALER
Is this for protection or are you
taking proactive measures?

STUART
(very nervous)
What I need is a starter gun. I mean, I
real gun, though, not a starter’s
pistol.

GUN DEALER
I gotcha.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 105.

The dealer pops


the trunk; it’s loaded with guns. Stuart eyes widen and he
makes emits a small EEP.

GUN DEALER
(suspicious)
You’re not going to shoot up a
schoolyard, are you?

STUART
No, no, nothing like that.
(beat)
Do I look like the kind of person who
would shoot up a schoolyard?

GUN DEALER
You look a little crazy, yes.

STUART
I’ve been under a lot of stress.

GUN DEALER
(looking closer)
Did somebody throw acid in your face?

STUART
No, no. Cosmetic thing.

GUN DEALER
Acid in the face, you could probably
swing self-defense. Okay, here we go.
(displaying gun)
Black Widow, your basic 22-caliber
revolver. Five hundred dollars.

STUART
$500? It cost half that on the Web!

GUN DEALER
I offer more personalized service than
on the Web. Now that comes fully
loaded, but if you’re going on any kind
of spree, you’re going to need more
bullets.

STUART
No, I’m sure whatever’s in there’s
fine.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 106.

(
reaching into pocket)
Cash, right?

The dealer gives him a “what do you think, dumb fuck?”


stare. Stuart counts out almost all of his money and hands
it to the dealer.

GUN DEALER
Thank you. And, oh, one last thing: I’m
a cop.

Stuart face is filled with abject terror. He drops to his


knees, losing it.

STUART
(wailing)
You don’t understand, we’ve haven’t
slept in months! She crippled my wife!
So many unauthorized repairs!

GUN DEALER
(laughs)
Lighten up, buddy. I’m just telling you
so you know you’ve got a clean piece
here. And also, so you know: if you do
end up in the legal system, and there’s
even a suggestion I might have been
involved, you are dead, your wife is
dead, your children are dead.

Stuart stands up, SNIFFLING.

STUART
We don’t have any children; we’re
waiting a couple of years.
(Off his look, soberly)
But I understand.

GUN DEALER
Good. Don’t shoot anybody I wouldn’t
shoot.

The dealer gets in the car.

STUART
Listen, I know you’re probably going
back to Manhattan, but if you could
swing by Park Slope…

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 107.

G
UN DEALER
I’m not a fucking cab. This is the end
of the line.

STUART
But you drove me out here. And, as I’m
sure you know, this is pretty dicey
neighborhood.

GUN DEALER
What are you worried about? You’ve got
a gun.
(points)
Did you piss yourself?

STUART
(looking down)
Yes, I guess I did.

Int. Apartment — Parlor — A Couple of Hours Later

The gun sits on a supercute coffee table. Stuart stands,


staring down at it with great moment. Nancy, sitting, looks
at it anxiously. After a long silence.

STUART
(sigh)
So it’s come to this.

Nancy picks the gun off the table.

NANCY
I don’t think I’ve ever even held a gu—

The gun GOES OFF. The bullet BLASTS through Stuart’s crotch
and SHATTERS a lamp behind him.

NANCY
The Tiffany! (ALT: The Gallé!)

Ext. Hospital Tk — Early Morning

Int. Hospital — Patient’s Room — Continuous

Nancy sits by Stuart’s side, tightly holding his hand, as


his surgeon nonchalantly briefs him.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 108.

D
OCTOR
Okay. We can’t find one testicle. It’s,
uh… gone. The other one, we’re going to
have to take a wait and see attitude.

NANCY
Will he still be able to have children?

DOCTOR
Stranger things have happened. As to
the rest of the, apparatus, well, we
did what we could, for now.
Reconstructive surgery can do some
amazing things; I mean, they can turn a
woman into a man, so, well, there,
that’s where we are.

Nancy smiles bravely at Stuart.

Dissolve to later

Officer Sandra and Officer Dan are taking a report.

OFFICER SANDRA
It’s been our experience that when a
woman shoots her husband in the
genitals, it’s usually not an accident.

OFFICER DAN
(smiling)
I’m sorry for your loss.

Int. Ball’s Magazine — Hallway — Several Nights Later

A jolly Christmas Party is in progress.

Music: “Santa, Baby” by Neko Case or somebody cool.

A model in a red fur-lined bikini and a Santa hat walks


past with a tray of red and green Jello shots. Stuart
enters frame, hobbling badly, accompanied by Kevin.

KEVIN
(a little drunk)
Shitty way to celebrate the holidays,
man, with your balls blown off.

STUART
Yeah, it’s not great.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 109.

Kevin stops as
Stuart continues out of frame.

KEVIN
(calling)
The alcohol’s free all night!

Int. Ball’s Magazine — Brownie’s Office — Moments Later

Stuart walks in; Brownie is perched on the front corner of


her desk, in a tight, tiny elf’s costume.

BROWNIE
Close the door, Stewey.

Stuart closes the door, and hobbles into the chair furthest
from Brownie. She picks up her Cosmopolitan and moves close
to him. She puts her hand on his shoulder.

BROWNIE
Bad news. You sacked.

STUART
(not quite clear)
Excuse me?

BROWNIE
You’ve had any number of unapproved
absences.

STUART
I was in the hospital.

BROWNIE
And despite in what low regard you hold
what we do here, that does not justify
your passing off someone else’s work as
your own.

STUART
(gritted teeth)
Fucking Charlie.

BROWNIE
He didn’t have to tell me. I knew you
couldn’t have written this.

She opens a magazine to a short article with the title,


“Thank You, Ma’am!”

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 110.

B
ROWNIE
It’s the best feckin’ thing we’ve had
in this magazine this year.

STUART
(really eating shit)
Look. Give me another chance.

BROWNIE
Frankly, Stewey, I don’t feel you have
what it takes
(makes a clenched fist)
to work here at Balls magazine.

STUART
(resigned)
Yeah. Okay. Look, would it be possible
for give me an advance on my bonus?

BROWNIE
It’s a year-end bonus. And you didn’t
make it until the end of the year, now
did you?

Stuart looks really desperate.

STUART
Listen. Uh. Uh. If there’s anything I
can do.
(last ditch)
You know, you look really hot tonight.
I, uh, I’d love to, uh, make you happy.

He pushes his head toward her crotch. She matter-of-factly


pushes it away.

BROWNIE
No thank you.

With nothing left to lose, Stuart stands up and starts


backing away from Brownie, angrily.

STUART
Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuh-uck you.
Fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou. Fuck you!

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 111.

B
ROWNIE
(casual)
Then I take it you’re not taking our
severance package. But then, you’ve
already had one.

From the darkness in the back of the office we hear:

CHARLIE (IN SHADOW)


Severance package. Oh, Brownie, you are
delicious!

Ext. Times Square — Night

Stuart hobbles past a festive tableau, hunched over bracing


himself from the cold, strongly evoking Ratso Rizzo.

Int. Nondescript Meeting Room — Midtown Somewhere

Stuart enters and takes a seat on a folding chair next to a


BIG GUY.

At the front of the room is a podium, with a banner behind


it which reads, “Men Accepting Non-Voluntary Genital Loss.”
TOM G is speaking.

TOM G
Well, Tom, a lot of you are probably
asking, is what was I doing fixing my
lawnmower in the middle of November
while lying underneath it completely
naked? All I can say is, hindsight is
20/20.

Back of the Room

The Big Guy, who we now see is wearing a MANGL button,


turns to Stuart.

BIG GUY
You’re new here.

STUART
(eyes forward)
Yeah.

BIG GUY
We’re here to talk about it. I’m Frank.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 112.

S
TUART
I’m Ben.

FRANK
Share with me, Ben.

Stuart points to the front of the room, as if he’s


engrossed in Tom G’s story.

Front of Room

TOM G
The doctors at Bellevue — who I can’t
say enough good things about — managed
to retrieve the… severed member… from
the grass bag. There was a lot of grass
and dirt in the “area,” so rather than
risk infection, they’ve grafted the
unit until my arm here, to keep it
alive until they can transplant.

Tom G holds up his arm to reveal a small bandaged appendage


on the forearm. The crowd MURMURS in interest.

TOM G
Wanna see me give it a boner?

Tom G flexes his muscle. The appendage rises slightly. The


crowd APPLAUDS enthusiastically. One man in the front row
has been brought to tears.

In the Back

Frank continues to chat up Stuart.

FRANK
I’ll start. In the profession I have
chosen, one does not sexually pleasure
one’s bosses’ mistress.

STUART
(without looking at him)
My wife shot one of my balls off.

FRANK
(turns to look ahead as well)
At least you didn’t have to eat yours.

Stuart puts it all together. He gets an idea.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 113.

S
TUART
Say, Frank, in this profession you have
chosen… do you freelance?

Ext. Thompson Street Near Houston — Day

It’s a Italian restaurant with no name on front and a burly


Italian standing at the door.

Int. Restaurant — Continuous

It’s old world Italian, all male middle-aged waiters. We


PAN across several booths, where serious gentlemen appear
to be discussing important businesses. Frank sits in a
booth between Stuart and Nancy. A graphite iBook special
edition sits between them.

On the Computer Screen

Using Nancy’s CGI design program, we enter Mrs. Connelly’s


apartment (which she has recreated fairly well from memory)
and turn toward the parlor.

NANCY (O.C.)
The door will be unlocked. Once you get
in, okay, I realize this is horribly
cluttered, but we’re going to go for a
much cleaner look…

STUART (O.C.)
Nancy…

NANCY (O.C.)
(Back to business)
You might find her here.

The computer’s camera swivels toward Mrs. Connelly chair,


which has a virtual little old lady sitting it.

Back to Scene

Nancy expertly maneuvers her finger around the touch pad.

NANCY
Or she might be in her bedroom, that’s
down the hall, second door on the
right…

Frank nods his head.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 114.

F
RANK
When do you want this done?

STUART
As soon as possible.

NANCY
Tomorrow night?

FRANK
That’s Christmas Eve. I like to spend
Christmas Eve with my family.

STUART
It’s Christmas Eve?
(to Nancy, apologetic)
I didn’t get you anything.

Nancy gives Stuart and good-natured “forget about it” wave.

FRANK
I could do it later, after the kids go
to bed.

Stuart and Nancy nod their heads. That sounds good.

Int. Apartment — Bedroom — Christmas Eve — Night

Stuart and Nancy lie in bed in the dark, staring at the


ceiling for a long beat.

STUART
I’m having second thoughts.

NANCY
It was your idea! Ice floe?

STUART
We both had the idea. I just said it
first.

A beat.

NANCY
I never thought of myself as the kind
of person who would hire an assassin to
kill a little old lady.

Another beat.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 115.

S
TUART
I feel bad about myself.

Suddenly, we hear a LOUD CRASHING O.C. Stuart and Nancy


jump out of bed.

Int. Apartment — Library — A Moment Later

Stuart rushes in, and reaches for a light switch. As he


turns on the light, a crowbar SMASHES his hand.

STUART
(severe discomfort sound)

In the light, we see Frank, whirling around with the


crowbar, smashing everything.

FRANK
Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.

Nancy looks around in horror. The leaded glass bookshelves,


the hutches, all the antiques, smashed.

NANCY
(screams)
What the fuck are you doing?!!!

Frank stops. Seeing them, he looks sheepish.

FRANK
(drunk)
Making it look like a robbery.
(shields eyes with hand)
Wrong floor. Fucking shit.
(defensive)
I had a couple of drinks, okay? Have
you ever killed anyone? Well, me
neither.

STUART
(holding crushed hand)
Look, let’s just forget--

FRANK
No, no. Deal’s deal.

Frank pulls a gun out of his waistband and staggers out the
door.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 116.

Int. Building —
Foyer — Continuous

Stuart and Nancy run after him, but Frank is already


bounding up the stairs. He throws open Mrs. Connelly’s
door, RIPPING the door chain apart easily. He rushes in.
Nancy and Stuart watch in horror as they hear:

MRS. CONNELLY
(Scream)

Frank staggers out of the door backwards. The praying hands


sculpture has been plunged into his chest. A moment later,
Mrs. Connelly runs out and LEAPS onto Frank’s chest like a
ATTACKING BABOON. He falls against the railing, which
collapses. They plunge together onto the stairs, and down
to the floor.

Nancy and Stuart rush up. Frank is clearly dead, the gun in
his open palm. Mrs. Connelly is MOANING in pain. The couple
stares down at them.

NANCY
(to Stuart, hysterical)
Finish her! Finish her!

STUART
What?

Nancy bends down, pulls her pajama sleeve over her hand,
and picks up the gun.

NANCY
(a jumble of words)
He broke in. She stabbed him. He shot
her. She stabbed him he shot her.
(Pressing gun on Stuart)
Do it! Do it! Do it!

Stuart, in a daze, takes the gun. He looks down at Mrs.


Connelly. He sees she has a series of numbers written on
her forearm in blue.

STUART
(hysterical)
Hitler couldn’t kill her! What chance
do we have?

Nancy looks down. She bends over, licks her finger and rubs
it on the numbers. They smear off.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 117.

N
ANCY
That’s the number of the Park Slope
police department.

She stands up and takes the gun from Stuart. She takes
careful aim. She can’t do it. Her arms go limp.

NANCY (CONT.)
We suck.

Stuart puts his arm around her shoulder.

STUART
Yep.

NANCY
We’ll never be rich.

STUART
Don’t have what it takes.
(kisses her on the head)
I’ll go call an ambulance.

He exits. She bends down and puts her hand gently on Mrs.
Connelly.

NANCY
Mrs. Connelly, try not to move. Do you
want some water? Can I get you
anything?

Int. Apartment — Library - Some Time Later

Bernard leads another young couple through the apartment.


It battered (and a lot of glass is missing) but it’s still
pretty impressive.

BERNARD
As you can see, it’s a real handy man’s
dream. The owners are asking for
considerably less than they paid, and
they’re very motivated. They had to
move upstate suddenly.

Int. Building — Foyer — Moment Later

Bernard exits the apartment with the couple.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 118.

B
ERNARD
Oh, and here’s Mrs. Connelly!

Mrs. Connelly has been making her way toward the stairs,
leaning on a three-footed cane. She turns to the young
couple.

MRS. CONNELLY
Are you looking at the apartment? The
young couple that was here before you,
they were so nice. I wish they could
have stayed.

Mrs. Connelly turns back toward the stairs, and stops.

MRS. CONNELLY
Oh, these stairs will be the death of
me. If only I had one of those elevator
chairs, that carry you up…

WIFE
That would be nice.

HUSBAND
But I imagine they’re quite expensive.

MRS. CONNELLY
Yes, I suppose you are right.

With great effort, she makes it up the first step. . The


couple share a knowing glance.

Close on

Mrs. Connelly’s shopping bag. On the top we see a pamphlet


that reads, “American People With Disabilities Act: Know
Your Rights!”

Credits

Over Credits

Int. State Women’s Prison — Nancy’s Cell — Day

Nancy is walking around the cell, trying to demonstrate


what she’s talking about.

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 119.

N
ANCY
I’m just saying the whole thing is a
little boxy. But if we angle the bed a
little, it’ll make a kind of
“conversation pit” with the toilet,
which we should get some sort of pretty
fabric to drape over it.

Nancy’s cellmate, who has killed at least a couple of


people, seems interested but not convinced.

NANCY’S CELLMATE
Guards won’t let you move the beds.

NANCY
Have you asked them? Nice?

Int. State Men’s Prison — Stuart’s Cell — Day

Sitting on the floor, Stuart sets his portable typewriter


on the toilet. He rolls in a piece of paper.

STUART
(to himself, confident)
I can write a novel in five to eight
years…

Stuart thinks. He starts typing.

On the Typewriter

It reads:

“Untitled”

By Stuart Rosenbaum

Back to Scene

He puts in another piece of paper. He types.

On the Typewriter

For

Nancy

(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 120.

Back to Scene

He smiles, and puts in another piece of paper. He thinks. A


very large hand is placed on his shoulder.

VOICE OF VERY BIG MAN (O.C.)


Excuse me, I need you over here for a
second.

Cut to Black

The End

(CONTINUED)